Israel hails OECD's invitation for membership (2)

10:01, May 11, 2010      

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"The 16-year campaign had one clear goal: to upgrade Israel's economy on a par with the world's leading economies," said Netanyahu, who then specified the advantages of the prestigious membership, among them forcing Israel to live up to "best practice " of economic standards and the opening up of investment channels unavailable to Israel prior of joining.

Netanyahu then noted the reason behind the Israeli success. " Above all, we had to prove that we're a developed economy with a free market, but with responsibility," Netanyahu said. "It's a necessary condition for joining. We couldn't have done it unless we'd proven high economic ability, rapid growth that increased the GDP per capita and such."

Specifying the outstanding fields of Israeli economy, an OECD statement reads that "Israel's scientific and technological policies have produced outstanding outcomes on a world scale."

Speaking from China, Israel's Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz also gave an emotional comment on Israel's entry to OECD, saying that the decision was "historic" and it is a really "festive day" for Israelis.

Until now, Israel has been categorized as an emerging market. Membership in the OECD will elevate its status to a fully developed economic entity. The Israeli stock market is now anticipating the first perk of the new membership: an investment of approximately 6 billion U.S. dollars expected to be received soon from international funds which only invest in stocks of OECD members.

While Netanyahu, who received his MBA from MIT's prestigious Sloane School of Business in the early 1970s, is not yet credited with groundbreaking achievements in the complex Middle East peace process during his years as prime minister, he is hailed as an economic and financial visionary who saved the Israeli economy from total collapse during his tenure as Finance Minster earlier in the decade, after it entered a crisis similar to Greece these days.


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