Israel’s economy – which way now?

Moody’s international credit rating agency on Wednesday downgraded Israel’s banking system outlook to negative from stable.” Not brilliant. Other reports point towards rising unemployment and large gaps in the fiscal budget. And there is a feeling that “election economics” may start to kick in soon.

However, while it may look as if Israel’s economy is about to implode, that is not the case. Stats-wise, growth for 2012 is still on schedule for 2.8% – 3.0%. And with monetary decision-making led by people of the calibre of Stanley Fischer, it is difficult to see Israel choosing the path of Greece and other fellow European strugglers.

The problems exist. They must be tackled now. Populistic political outcrys need to be thwated away by the Prime Minister. What gives me heart is a string of articles featured on the website of The Times of Israel. This newish on-line newspaper posted numerous features just this last week, which together illustrate why Israel’s human potential has yet to be developed in full. 

To take a few stories at random:

  1. BUSINESS WIRE reported that Sialo Technology from southern Israel has announced receiving CE approval for marketing its unique dental implant, which allows for noninvasive surgical procedures.
  2. Israel’s Biomed capabilities today enable paraplegics to finish marathons and increase the number of red blood cells in those suffering from aplastic bone marrow.
  3. At ChipEx2012, tech guru, George Gilder, described Broadcom, Cisco and Intel as Israeli companies. 
  4. As for the number of overseas companies listed by country on NASDAQ, Israel is second only to China.

Israel needs more than just great hightech corporates to build a successful economy. That said, what is described here, just a few examples of what is happening on the ground, is probably one of the main reasons why the largest private equity group in the world, Blackrock, is looking to set up in the Holy Land.

And the fact that Blackrock is considering opening their doors is a veritable vote of confidence in the economic future of the country.

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