Figures released yesterday indicate that Israel’s economy will grow by 4.5% in 2008 (5.4% in 2007). And despite the “r” word – recession – increasingly mentioned by international figures, Israel is not showing signs of dipping into negative growth for 2009.
Israel has its forecasters of doom. And Israel’s 30% growth over 6 or so years has been linked in many ways to inward foreign investment and exports, which will both slow in 2009.
For the moment, there is much anecdotal evidence that the crunch has yet to come. A venture capital fund, Genesis, has raised US$100m for a new round of investment. I am aware of at least 2 Israeli start ups that intend to secure external investment in the next few weeks, and I hope to report on those stories in due course.
4 major employers, including Coca Cola (Israel) and Osem, have announced publicly that they have no plans for lay offs.
I am personally involved in an exciting new conference, aimed to introduce key Israeli figures in export sales, marcom and biz dev to new elements in marketing techniques. Delegates from some of Israel’s key high tech giants, including Sandisk, Comverse and ECTel, will be present at this central business event in Jerusalem.
Slow down or recession, the best way to tackle them is to generate new activity. That is what citizens are acting on. It is time for the government to follow.