Israel accepted into OECD

Port2port News Service 
May 17, 2010 

Finance Minister Steinitz said that the new membership is 'stamp of approval' which will attract foreign investments.
On 10 May, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries agreed to invite Israel (along with Estonia and Slovenia) to become a member of the Organization, paving the way for the group’s membership to grow to 34 countries. 
During nearly three years of accession negotiations, the three countries were reviewed by 18 OECD Committees with respect to their compliance with OECD standards and benchmarks. 
The invitation to Israel to join the OECD acknowledges the efforts already made toreform the economy, including in such areas as combating corruption, protecting intellectual property rights and ensuring high standards of corporate governance, while looking forward to further reforms. 
Israel will contribute to OECD work in a number of specific areas, as Israel’s scientific and technological policies have produced outstanding outcomes on a world scale. Israel was invited to open accession talks in 2007. The OECD will welcome the three future members at a special ceremony during the annual meeting of the OECD Council at ministerial level on 27 May in Paris. 
The meeting will be chaired by Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi. Following the OECD announcement Governor of the Bank of Israel Prof. Stanley Fischer said "The decision by the OECD to add Israel as a member of the organization is an important milestone in Israel's integration into the global economy, and reflects Israel's commitment to comply with advanced international standards." Fischer added that Israeli membership in the OECD wouldstrengthen investors' confidence in the standing of the Israeli economy and should encourage investment. He praised the OECD's reports on Israel and expressed the hope that the OECD would help promote reforms in Israel, including in the education system, participation in the labor force, narrowing inequality and environment enforcement. 
He also thanked the OECD for uncovering bureaucratic obstacles through its business friendliness index report. Fischer praised the OECD's expertise on the financial sector,and noted that there are international equity funds that only invest in OECD member states. Israel's accession to the organization will therefore expand investment opportunities in Israeli government bonds and in the economy.
Finance Minister Steinitz said that the new membership is 'stamp of approval' which will attract foreign investments. Steinitz added that: "It is the most respectable international club a small state like Israel can be accepted into," he added. "From what we know about other states, in the years following the acceptance there is a rise of billions of dollars in foreign investments in the state accepted." Manufacturers Association President Shraga Brosh issued a pleased response saying that "Israel's membership with the organization constitutes a label of quality”.