As we brace for the frustration and uncertainly of Israel’s fifth national election in four years, to be held next Tuesday, and bemoan the frustration of an Israeli electorate so deeply divided on a host of political and social issues, it is worth taking a step back to marvel at the remarkable success of the Jewish state’s bursting economy.
While virtually every country in the world is suffering from rampant inflation, slow economic growth and challenges to maintenance of currency values, Israel is an exception. Israel’s economy is growing at one of the fastest paces in the world, it boasts a very low rate of inflation and a high level of employment. Israel’s shekel is reported to be the world’s best performing currency among the more than 30 that trade actively and the only one that strengthened against the dollar in the past decade.
Israel’s projected domestic product growth in 2022 will reach 5.2%. Unemployment is at an impressive 3.5% and Israel’s inflation rate of 4.3% is less than half the annualized rate in the U.S. and Europe. Israel’s economy is strong and is poised to continue to grow. Analysts attribute that strength to a culture of innovation that dominates Israel’s business sector and a broad, diverse and growing base of companies that make up corporate Israel.
As highlighted in a recent Bloomberg analysis of Israel’s economic success, it is innovation and technology that drive Israel’s remarkable impact on some of the world’s largest industries. The range of impacted industries includes business sectors as diverse as auto parts, medical equipment and food, water and climate-change solutions. Companies like Mobileye Global Inc., the creator of vision-based driver assistance programs and Innoviz Technologies Ltd., the maker of light detection ranging (Lidar) sensor and perception software for autonomous driving are making a significant impact on the worldwide automobile industry. And Nanox Imaging Ltd. — a company devoted to moving from predictive medicine to preventive medicine — brings new approaches and promise to governments, hospitals and clinics with cloud-based image analysis, online diagnosis and billing services while continuing its work in the development of a 3D medical imaging device.
And then there is Redefine Meat, the Israeli startup in its fourth year that seeks to address meat’s significant impact on the challenges of climate change and sustainability by creating the first 3D printed plant-based steak, which now boasts distribution in more than 500 restaurants and butcher shops in Israel, Berlin, Amsterdam and London.
There are, of course, many more such companies, each with an impressive story and many with eye-popping success. There are some 630 companies domiciled in Israel. Not all of them will succeed. But not one of them accounts for more than 10% of Israel’s market value. That diversity — coupled with an innovative, single-minded dedication to understanding new challenges and working through them without fear of failure — bodes well for continued growth and expansion of Israel’s economy.
We can only hope that the new government Israel will elect on Nov. 1 will bring a similar stability, reliability, innovation and a drive to solve problems creatively. JN