Israel’s economy in celebration mood

This week, Israel is celebrating the Festival of Tabernacles. The annual Jerusalem March saw 70,000 Christians, Jews and others parade joyously through the centre of the holy city.

In parallel, the country’s business sector has been revelling in a successful week for commerce.

  • The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange has hit a 13-month high.
  • Despite having just emerged by a deep recession, the Bank of Israel now holds record reserves of foreign currency.
  • Israel’s generic drug giant, Teva, has made 20th place in the “BusinessWeek” World’s Best Companies/Global Top 40 list.
  • Following on, the Minister of Finance, Steinitz, committed Israel to supporting the G-20 initiative to increase resources available to the IMF and will loan it, upon demand, money from its foreign exchange reserves.

“Israel is willing to play its part in contributing to the IMF’s resources and will participate in the two main funding programs – the NAB (New Arrangement to Borrow) and the Voluntary SDR Allocation – that were recently announced. Upon demand, the IMF would be able to get a loan, up to 500 million SDR [$316m.], that would be paid from Israel’s foreign exchange reserves,” said Steinitz. “In addition, Israel will be committed to purchase its allocated SDR. This will be implemented as an investment from our foreign exchange reserves.”

As Steinitz added in his speech, there is still a lot of hard work ahead. However, just as Israel has had to swallow pride and learn from other counties in the past, today the Holy Land has much to offer the international business community.

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