Afternoon Tea in Jerusalem Blog

Life in Israel

Israeli commercial life and society

In addition to my work as a business coach, one of my interests is blogging about life in Israel. This is a country full of contrasts – over eight million citizens living in an area the size of Wales. You can see snow and the lowest place on the globe in the same day. Although surrounded by geopolitical extremes, Israel has achieved a decade of high economic growth. My work brings me in contact with an array of new companies, exciting technologies and dynamic characters. Sitting back with a relaxing cup of strong tea (with milk), you realise just how much there is to appreciate in the Holyland. Large or small operations, private sector or non profit, my clients provide experiences from which others can learn and benefit.


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Israel’s economic independence

Yesterday, I wrote about Israel celebrating her 69th year as an independent entity. One of the most notable signs of the change throughout the decades is how the economy has improved. This week’s commercial and financial news is indicative of that progress, and carries positive implications for the global economy.

At a macro level, unemployment is now registered at 4.2%. Few other countries an boast such can achievement in the present economic climate. In parallel, the country’s credit rating remains high. For example, Fitch has recorded it at A+.

Investments remain positive. For example, the American based agro-tech venture capital fund Finistere has announced that it will looking to create an Israeli portfolio, making large sums available. Three more Israeli companies will join 11 others and launch on the Australian stock market. And the French-German government collaboration in Airbus will set up a centre on the Holy Land, concentrating on cyber technologies.

The lesson here is clear. Israel needs to import raw materials. However, its exports to world arena are used by all.

Yet one of the most pleasing aspects of development has been in the hidden sector of the small business community. Now, it is an open secret that such organisations are often the power house of many economies, accounting for over 90% of commercial activity. In Israel, this is as high as 99%.

The number of these businesses in the Holy Land has now reached 520,000. This represents a 12% jump in just one year. They account for 61% of all of those employed in the private sector and over 70% of all new positions created during 2014 and 2015. Not surprisingly, their profitability as a whole is improving.

Looking ahead to the next year, challenges remain. There are many issues relating to infrastructure – ports, privatization, monopolies – that need to be tackled, urgently. That said, the prospects for a bright economic future in Israel remain firm,

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