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Israel Business & Economy: Israel Joins the OECD

(May 27, 2010)

On May 10, 2010, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) invited Israel to become a member of the organization. The unanimous decision, taken by the 31 member-states, recognized Israel's achievements, economic strength and ability to contribute to the organization and to the world's economy. The accession negotiations were led by the Foreign Ministry and an additional team for professional subjects was headed by the Ministry of Finance.

On May 27, 2010, Prime Minister Netanyahu attended a ceremony at the Paris headquarters to mark the official entry of Israel, Estonia, Slovenia and Chile into the organization of now 35 nations. Being a member state of the OECD will lead to economic advances and enhance Israel's image, as well as improve the functioning of various sectors in Israel's society and economy, including in the fields of environment, education and employment.

In order to maximize Israel's connections with the organization, the Foreign Ministry established an Israeli delegation to the OECD to operate out of the Embassy in Paris. In addition to his other duties, the Ambassador to UNESCO will also serve as Israel's Ambassador to the OECD.

Excerpt of PM Netanyahu's Speech to the OECD on the Occasion of Israel's Accession:

"We in Israel are deeply honored by your invitation to join the OECD. We see this not only as recognition of what we have already achieved in our economy but as a vote of confidence in achievements yet to come.

But those who truly deserve the greatest credit for this historic achievement are the citizens of Israel. We are an ancient people who established what is still a young country little more than six decades ago. We possess hardly any natural resources.

Our greatest assets are the brains, drive, ingenuity, and entrepreneurial spirit of our people. They are the reason why Israel is today a global leader in technology and why the world's leading firms conduct advanced research and development in Israel.

In just 62 years, their enormous talent has made Israel a technological powerhouse with a global impact well beyond its size - in information and electronics, agriculture and water, science and medicine, energy and the environment. I intend to do all I can in the coming years to unleash those talents.

The more we continue to free up Israel's economy, and the more we continue to remove barriers to competition, the more Israel's economy will thrive and the more the people of Israel will prosper. The Israeli economy has come a long way, but we have a long way still to go. Our goal is to become within the next decade one of the 15 highest per capita income countries in the world. "

Sources: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs