Israel Invited to Join OECD PM Netanyahu and OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría pictured in 2010. Photo: OECD

May 10, 2010

The 31 member nations of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development unanimously vote to invite Israel to join the organization, reflecting Israel’s economic strength and importance in the world economy. Israel, Estonia, Slovenia and Chile are inducted into the OECD in Paris on May 27.

The OECD is a group of many of the world’s biggest market economies. It adopts policies to foster prosperity, equality, opportunity and well-being and sets evidence-based standards to help solve social, economic and environmental challenges. Each nation that seeks membership must go through a rigorous process to show it is qualified and is committed to the organization’s goals.

In a speech at the induction ceremony, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanks the OECD for its invitation and its recognition of Israel’s achievements and potential.

He highlights the role of ordinary citizens in Israel’s many economic successes. Although Israel is a small, largely arid state with few natural resources and many enemies, it has become a global leader in technology and innovation because of the intelligence, drive, ingenuity and entrepreneurship of its people, Netanyahu says. He cites the state’s global impact in information technology, electronics, agriculture, water, science, medicine, energy and the environment.

“The more we continue to free up Israel’s economy and the more we continue to remove barriers to competition, the more Israel’s economy will thrive, and the more the people of Israel will prosper,” Netanyahu says. “The Israeli economy has come a long way, but we have a long way still to go. Our goal is to become within the next decade one of the 15 highest per capita income countries in the world.”