Israel: A Safe Haven of Economic Prosperity

Thursday, 28 Apr 2011 08:03 AM

By Jacob Wolinsky

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Everyone talks about the emerging markets as having strong growth potential in the future.

There are several developed countries that weren't hit too hard by the financial crisis and are considered developed. Australia, Canada and a few Scandinavian countries come to mind, but one country people don't think about is a tiny country of 7 million people, based in one of the most volatile regions in the world: Israel.

Despite being located in the Middle East region of the world, where hostility, fear, and even war can be a part of everyday life, Israel has shown itself to be a beacon of light and a bastion of stability when it comes to economics.

While many other countries in the surrounding area are dealing with war, military occupations or at least some form of civil unrest or riots, Israel has found a way to not only remain stable, but to actually outpace much of the rest of the world.

According to recent documents and profiles, Israel’s economy is based upon significant resources such as copper sulfur, and other metals. The agriculture is great for citrus, vegetables, poultry and beef and dairy.

Finally, the Israel industry is mostly comprised of high-tech projects, but it also has all sorts of chemical products, plastics, metals, and other strong forms of industry as well. Such diversification of goods and services as well as its natural resources truly allows for the optimal forms of market and economy.

As far as growth is concerned, Israel had a reported 3.2 percent growth on GDP and the IMF (International Monetary Fund) is projecting a 3.4 percent growth in 2011 (The average was only 2.3 percent for other developed countries).

The inflation rate of Israel was relatively low at only 2.3 percent in 2010 and is a very attractable number. The projected unemployment for Israel in 2011 is 7.4 percent, which will still be more than a point lower than the world average of 8.4 percent (the United States is projected to be at 9.4 percent).

So, while its profile numbers and statistics are actually quite attractive and allow the country to be seen as a strong economy in the present time, its projections for the future call for even better times. Israel is a big exporter when it comes to country demographics. Israel imports many raw materials, but exports a majority of finished goods.

Furthermore, Israel’s money supply had actually decreased in 2010 (while that of other developed nations increased), and that could lead to stability in the long term. While flooding a country with excess cash can stir up rapid inflation, Israel should be able to keep their inflation relatively low and stable.

Many of the previously listed indicators could very well be attributed to Israel’s governor of the bank, Stanley Fischer. He is a tremendous leader for their financial and economic markets, and he is also a powerful mind to set policy as well.

Fischer is a very intelligent man who has helped transform the economic world. From his time serving in both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (through various positions), he has influenced many different policies and perceptions. He was also a professor for the highly acclaimed MIT Sloan School of Management for a little over a decade; where in addition to being an author, he was also the PhD thesis adviser to Ben Bernanke.

When you have a specific individual in charge of your economic organization and entity, so to speak, with the merit, talent, and experience that Stanley Fischer has, it is no wonder that you can be outpacing much of the rest of the world in many of the leading economic indicators and standards.

The most important thing to remember about Fischer as well is that he hasn’t just put together a solid set of marks in the past; it’s that he has also laid the foundation for the future of Israel’s economy.

Israel is clearly one of the safe havens of economic prosperity at this specific time and point in our world economy; however, there is little reason to believe that they won’t continue to be a world leader in this regard.

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