Israel is a country in the Middle East. The total area under Israeli law, including East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, is 22,072 square kilometers. In 2018, Israel's population was an estimated 8,871,320 people, of whom 74.5% were recorded by the civil government as Jews. Israel is considered the most advanced country in Southwest Asia and the Middle East in economic and industrial development. Israel's quality university education and the establishment of a highly motivated and educated populace is largely responsible for spurring the country's high technology boom and rapid economic development. In 2010, it joined the OECD. The country is ranked 16th in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report and 54th on the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business index. Israel was also ranked 5th in the world by share of people in high-skilled employment. Despite limited natural resources, intensive development of the agricultural and industrial sectors over the past decades has made Israel largely self-sufficient in food production, apart from grains and beef. Imports to Israel, totaling $66.76 billion in 2017, include raw materials, military equipment, investment goods, rough diamonds, fuels, grain, and consumer goods. Leading exports include machinery and equipment, software, cut diamonds, agricultural products, chemicals, and textiles and apparel; in 2017, Israeli exports reached $60.6 billion. The Bank of Israel holds $113 billion of foreign-exchange reserves. Israel has the second-largest number of startup companies in the world after the United States, and the third-largest number of NASDAQ-listed companies after the U.S. and China. Israel has an impressive record for creating profit driven technologies making the country a top choice for many business leaders and high technology industry giants, such as IBM, Google, Apple, HP, Cisco Systems, Facebook and Motorola have opened R&D centres in the country. As a friend of the Chinese people, Israel attaches importance to the key role of China in international affairs and would likemake utmost efforts to enhance the sound cooperative relations between the two countries.
Transportation,Software & Internet
JERUSALEM, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Israel's economy grew by 4.7 percent in the first quarter of 2018, up from 4.6 percent in the last quarter of 2017, the Central Bureau of Statistics said Monday. The economic growth was 4.3 percent in the third quarter of 2017, it added. Meanwhile, the private consumption expenditure increased 10 percent in the first quarter, while exports of goods and services rose 6.1 percent, according to a report released by the bureau. In addition, imports of goods and services surged 20.7 percent in the first three months, compared to the 5.5-percent rise in the previous quarter.
JERUSALEM, July 18 (Xinhua) -- A governmental grant program to halt the sharp decrease in the number of farmers in Israel was revealed on Wednesday, said Hebrew-language newspaper "Yedioth Ahronoth." Prepared by Israel's Ministries of Finance and Agriculture, the grants will be awarded totaling 45 million new shekels (about 12.4 million U.S. dollars) to young people who would agree to work in agriculture and former farmers who would return to the field, according to the plan. The declining number of farmers in Israel stems from lack of support by the state, low profitability and hard-physical work. The average age of Israeli farmers is over 60, and the declining number will also reduce crop production. The number of farmers in Israel is currently below 15,000, compared with 65,000 in the 1970s. The rate of Israeli farmers out of the total population is only 0.58 percent.
Israeli consumption of plastic bags decreased by 80 per cent in 2017 than the year before, according to Israeli Environment Ministry on Sunday. The Ministry said sharp reduction was attributed mainly to a law from 2016 that put restrictions on big supermarkets chains, Xinhua reported. The "plastic bag law" was sponsored by the Environment Ministry in order to reduce environmental pollution from plastic. Supermarkets in Israel have supplied customers with more than a billion plastic bags per year for free before 2016. Since the bill came into effect, the supermarkets were forced to charge about $0.027 for one bag. Nowadays, the Ministry said, it works on a new plan to continue the reduction of plastic bags usage not only in supermarkets but in all the stores in Israel.
Hyundai Motor Co said on Tuesday it was partnering with Autotalks, an Israeli provider of vehicle to everything (V2X) communication technology for improving road safety. Hyundai said it invested in Autotalks to accelerate the development of the next generation chipset for connected cars. The South Korean carmaker did not disclose the size of the investment but an Israeli industry source said it was several million dollars. Hyundai said it is expanding partnerships for connectivity technology vital to autonomous driving. In manned vehicles, V2X systems convey important information to the driver in the form of alerts and notifications while in autonomous vehicles it complements existing sensors, allowing them to make more informed decisions. Prior to Hyundai’s investment, Autotalks had raised more than $80 million.
International trade has been a hot topic in the wake of a jarring few weeks of American tariffs and Canadian counter-measures. At a time of uncertainty for many sectors, it is worth highlighting a bright spot on the trade front: the recent upgrading of the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA). Many readers would be surprised to learn that Israel was the first country outside North America with which Canada signed a free trade agreement. Since that accord came into force under the Chretien government in 1997, bilateral trade between Canada and Israel has tripled to more than $1.7 Billion and fueled job growth in key Canadian sectors. Negotiations to modernize CIFTA began under the Harper government and continued under the Trudeau government, demonstrating the non-partisan nature of the Canada-Israel trade file. The new and improved CIFTA will benefit Canadian producers by shrinking and ending tariffs on agricultural and fisheries goods. The upgraded deal also includes new provisions on gender, labour rights, and environmental stewardship, as well as corporate social responsibility and small- and medium-sized enterprises. Having spent significant time in Israel, and as the head of a Canadian company that has shipped lumber to Israel for many years, I have seen firsthand that this is a market that should not be overlooked. I have been impressed time and again by Israeli business culture. Israelis have a high level of informality, open-mindedness, adaptation, and creativity that far surpasses the business climate in most other countries. When it comes to risk-taking, Israeli entrepreneurs are famed for their refusal to be governed by fear of failure. When an idea or product proves to be a dud, Israelis take this as a sign to go back to the drawing board rather than to fold up shop. The result? An innovation sector that boasts the highest number of start-ups per capita on the planet. This is where the opportunity rests for Canadians. As the Government of Canada prioritizes technology “superclusters” that unite businesses and researchers, the possibilities for partnerships with Israelis are virtually limitless. While the volume in trade may be comparatively small, Israel is a market with a highly educated workforce and a unique edge in key sectors, including medical technology, aeronautics, cyber security, and an array of high-tech fields. Having earned the moniker “Start-Up Nation,” Israel is now home to the world’s highest concentration of tech companies outside of Silicon Valley. Virtually every industry giant — from Google and Facebook to Apple and Intel — has a significant R&D centre in Israel. This should not be unexpected for a country with some of the world’s highest per capita rates of engineers, PhDs, and scientific papers. Expanded commercial ties parallel growing cooperation between Canadians and Israelis at various levels. Most of Canada’s top universities now have formal partnerships with Israeli universities and research centres. Israeli schools are world leaders in commercializing research through Technology Transfer Organizations (TTO), which provide academics a pathway and financing to turn ideas in the lab into products on the market. Observers note that this is a significant factor in the success of Israel’s tech sector. Canadian researchers and entrepreneurs would be wise to explore how we could integrate this approach into our own innovation sector. The upgrading of Canada-Israel free trade is an example of how, in an increasingly knowledge-based economy, we must be creative in seeing opportunities beyond our largest trading partners. Following a week of difficult trade developments, and in an environment where, as an example, we can ship Canadian lumber duty free to Israel but not the United States, expanded trade with Israel is a good news story that Canadian leaders, entrepreneurs, and workers can celebrate.