From the CEO
Investing in One of the World’s Best Economies
By Israel Maimon
President & CEO
On October 23, Maryland became the latest state prohibiting business with companies supporting the Boycott/Divestment/Sanction (BDS) movement. Nearly half of all U.S. states have now passed legislation or signed executive orders with the same objective.
This marks another setback for BDS advocates who have been trying – and failing – to harm Israel economically. Quite the opposite – Israel’s economy is widely recognized as ranking among the best in the world.
An assessment from Standard & Poor’s, issued August 2017, sums it up. In raising its Israel outlook from ‘stable’ to ‘positive,’ S&P stated, “There is a potential for stronger than anticipated general government fiscal performance over the next two years. We expect that Israel’s economic and balance-of-payments dynamics will stay strong while security risks remain contained.”
A month later, Moody’s declared, “Israel’s economic growth has outpaced that of other advanced industrial countries over the past decade, driven by its high-tech export niche and a diversified economic base that now includes its status as an energy exporter.”
Warren Buffett, the world’s most famous investor, is also an enthusiastic advocate for Israel’s economy, as can be seen by the fact that he owns Israeli companies and Israel bonds. As Prime Minister Netanyahu noted, “Warren is one of the most brilliant and successful investors of our time. He knows a good investment when he sees it. That’s why he invests in Israel.”
The facts speak for themselves. Israel’s GDP in 2016 was $318 billion. Its debt-to-GDP ratio – an important indicator of economic wellbeing – decreased to 62.4 percent between 2007 and 2016, making Israel one of only three countries to successfully reduce debt-to-GDP since the onset of the global recession. By comparison, U.S. debt-to-GDP increased by over 47 percent. (Source: Government of Israel Ministry of Finance/Office of the Accountant General - Investor Newsletter/Oct. 2017).
For more than 66 years, the Israel Bonds organization has been a cornerstone of Israel’s rapid economic development. Since the program’s inception in 1951, over $40 billion worth of Israel bonds have been acquired worldwide. This global network of purchasers includes institutional investors entrusted with the highest level of fiduciary responsibility.
Beyond being securities, Israel bonds are a direct, personal means of investing in the vast promise and potential of the world’s only Jewish state. Next April, Israel turns 70, and one way to express pride in seven decades of achievement is through the purchase of Israel bonds.
(Israel bonds are not rated)