Israel's Economy

The Israeli economy's considered a success story. Even though the country hardly has any natural resources and in spite of wars and waves of immigration placing enormous load on it, Israel is placed among the most prosperous countries worldwide. Two of the reasons are external aid and an educated work force.

Since its establishment, the State's exports have grown from some 30 million dollars a year to more than 30 billion. Over this period, many changes have occurred in the economy. In the beginning, the main exports were citrus fruit, as well as processed diamonds and some industrial products. Today, they mostly consist of high-tech industries in diverse areas such as electronics, software, hardware, optics, communications and medical instrumentation.

With time, Israel's economic ideology has also changed. In the beginning, the economy was prominently centralist, characterized by much state involvement. Following political change in 1977, the governments of Israel have adopted a liberal economic policy.

The GDP of the Israeli economy is some $179 billion, while the GDP per person is about $27,300, ranking Israel 21st compared to the OECD member countries in 2008. Its exports total around $2.98 billion a year, while imports total some $3.3 billion. The annual growth rate in 2008 was about 4.1%, the inflation rate as of early 2009 was around 3.4% and the unemployment rate then was 6.8%. The Israeli economy's predominant sector is high-tech, which became the driving force behind the country's economic growth in the 1990s. Other prominent sectors are pharmaceuticals, chemicals, tourism, the military industry, the metal industry and polished diamonds.

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