Israel has an entrepreneurial spirit and a creative, highly educated, skilled, and diverse workforce. It is a leader in innovation in a variety of sectors, and many Israeli start-ups find good partners in American companies. Popularly known as “Start-Up Nation,” Israel invests heavily in education and scientific research. U.S. firms account for nearly two-thirds of the more than 300 research and development (R&D) centers established by multinational companies in Israel. Israel has the third most companies listed on the NASDAQ, after the United States and China. Various Israeli government agencies, led by the Israel Innovation Authority, fund incubators for early stage technology start-ups, and Israel provides extensive support for new ideas and technologies while also seeking to develop traditional industries. Private venture capital funds have flourished in Israel in recent years.
The fundamentals of the Israeli economy are strong, and the economy proved flexible and adaptable through the worldwide financial crisis. A 2018 International Monetary Fund (IMF) report said Israel’s economy is thriving, enjoying solid growth and historically low unemployment. With low inflation and fiscal deficits that have usually met targets, most analysts consider Israeli government economic policies as generally sound and supportive of growth. Israel seeks to provide supportive conditions for companies looking to invest in Israel, through laws that encourage capital and industrial R&D investment. Incentives and benefits include grants, reduced tax rates, tax exemptions, and other tax-related benefits.
The U.S.-Israeli bilateral economic and commercial relationship is strong, anchored by two-way trade in goods that reached USD 35.4 billion in 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and extensive commercial ties, particularly in high-tech and R&D. The total stock of Israeli foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States was USD 39.3 billion in 2017, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. This year marks the 34th anniversary of the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the United States’ first-ever FTA. Since the signing of the FTA, the Israeli economy has undergone a dramatic transformation, moving from a protected, low-end manufacturing and agriculture-led economy to one that is diverse, open, and led by a cutting-edge high-tech sector.
The Israeli government generally continues to take slow, deliberate actions to remove some trade barriers and encourage capital investment, including foreign investment. The continued existence of trade barriers and monopolies, however, have contributed significantly to the high cost of living and the lack of competition in key sectors. The Israeli government maintains some protective trade policies, usually in favor of domestic producers.
Table 1: Key Metrics and Rankings
|TI Corruption Perceptions Index||2018||34 of 180||https://www.transparency.org/country/ISR|
|World Bank’s Doing Business Report||2019||49 of 190||http://www.doingbusiness.org/en/rankings|
|Global Innovation Index||2018||11 of 126||https://www.globalinnovationindex.org/analysis-indicator|
|U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, stock positions)||2018||$26,700||http://www.bea.gov/international/factsheet/|
|World Bank GNI per capita||2017||$37,270||http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GNP.PCAP.CD|
1. Openness To, and Restrictions Upon, Foreign Investment
Policies Towards Foreign Direct Investment
Israel is open to foreign investment and the government actively encourages and supports the inflow of foreign capital.
The Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry’s ‘Invest in Israel’ office serves as the government’s investment promotion agency facilitating foreign investment. ‘Invest in Israel’ offers a wide range of services including guidance on Israeli laws, regulation, taxes, incentives, and costs, and facilitation of business connections with peer companies and industry leaders for new investors. ‘Invest in Israel’ also organizes familiarization tours for potential investors and employs a team of advisors for each region of the world.
Limits on Foreign Control and Right to Private Ownership and Establishment
The Israeli legal system protects the rights of both foreign and domestic entities to establish and own business enterprises, as well as the right to engage in remunerative activity. Private enterprises are free to establish, acquire, and dispose of interests in business enterprises. As part of ongoing privatization efforts, the Israeli government encourages foreign investment in privatizing government-owned entities.
Israel’s policies aim to equalize competition between private and public enterprises, although the existence of monopolies and oligopolies in several sectors stifles competition. In the case of designated monopolies, defined as entities that supply more than 50 percent of the market, the government controls prices.
Israel does not maintain a centralized investment screening (approval) mechanism for inbound foreign investment. Investments in regulated industries (e.g. banking and insurance) require approval by the relevant regulator. Investments in certain sectors may require a government license. Other regulations may apply, usually on a national treatment basis.
Other Investment Policy Reviews
The World Trade Organization (WTO) conducted its fifth and latest trade policy review of Israel in July 2018. In the past three years, the Israeli government has not conducted any investment policy reviews through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) or the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The OECD concluded an Economic Survey of Israel in March 2018.
The Israeli government is fairly open and receptive to companies wishing to register businesses in Israel. Israel ranked 45th in the “Starting a Business” category of the World Bank’s 2019 Doing Business Report, falling eight places from its 2018 ranking. Israel continues to institute reforms to make it easier to do business in Israel, but some challenges remain.
The business registration process in Israel is relatively clear and straightforward. Four procedures are required to register a standard private limited company and take 12 days to complete, on average, according to the Ministry of Finance. The foreign investor must obtain company registration documents through a recognized attorney with the Ministry of Justice and obtain a tax identification number for company taxation and for value added taxes (VAT) from the Ministry of Finance. The cost to register a company averages around USD 1,000 depending on attorney and legal fees.
The Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute is an Israeli government agency operating independently, under the Ministry of Economy, that helps facilitate trade and business opportunities between Israeli and foreign companies. More information on their activities is available at .
In general, there are no restrictions on Israeli investors seeking to invest abroad. However, investing abroad may be restricted on national security grounds or in certain countries or sectors where the Israeli government deems such investment is not in the national interest.
2. Bilateral Investment Agreements and Taxation Treaties
Israel has protection of investment agreements with Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria (amending protocol), China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Germany, Guatemala, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro (with Serbia), Burma, Poland, Romania (Amending protocol signed in 2010 but not in force), Serbia (with Montenegro), Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa (not in force), South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uruguay, and Uzbekistan.
Israel has free trade agreements with the European Union (EU), European Free Trade Association (a regional trade organization and free trade area consisting of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland), Turkey, Mexico, Canada, Jordan, Egypt, and Mercosur (an economic and political bloc comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay). Israel’s free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will come into force only after the United Kingdom exits the European Union. Israel’s free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and Ukraine are awaiting ratification by the Knesset (Israeli parliament).
The United States and Israel signed a free trade agreement in 1985.
Israel has a bilateral tax treaty with United States. Israel signed its Income Tax Treaty with the United States in 1975.
3. Legal Regime
Transparency of the Regulatory System
Israel promotes open governance and has joined the International Open Government Partnership. The government’s policy is to pursue the goals of transparency and active reporting to the public, public participation, and accountability.
Israel’s regulatory system is transparent. Ministries and regulatory agencies give notice of proposed regulations to the public on a government web site: . The texts of proposed regulations are also published (in Hebrew) on this web site. The government requests comments from the public about proposed regulations.
Israel is a signatory to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), which covers most Israeli government entities and government-owned corporations. Most of the country’s open international public tenders are published in the local press. U.S. companies have recently won a limited number of government tenders, notably in civil aviation. However, government-owned corporations make extensive use of selective tendering procedures. In addition, the lack of transparency in the public procurement process discourages U.S. companies from participating in major projects and disadvantages those that choose to compete. Enforcement of the public procurement laws and regulations is not consistent.
Israel is a member of UNCTAD’s international network of transparent investment procedures. ( ). Foreign and national investors can find detailed information on administrative procedures applicable to investment and income generating operations including the number of steps, name and contact details of the entities and persons in charge of procedures, required documents and conditions, costs, processing time, and legal basis justifying the procedures.
International Regulatory Considerations
Israel is not a member of any major economic bloc but maintains strong economic relations with other economic blocs.
Israeli regulatory bodies in the Ministry of Economy (Standards Institute of Israel), Ministry of Health (Food Control Services), and the Ministry of Agriculture (Veterinary Services and the Plant Protection Service) often adopt standards developed by European standards organizations. Israel’s adoption of European standards rather than international standards results in the market exclusion of certain U.S. products and added costs for U.S. exports to Israel.
Israel became a member of the WTO in 1995. The Ministry of Economy and Industry’s Standardization Administration is responsible for notifying the WTO Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade, and regularly does so.
Legal System and Judicial Independence
Israel has a written and consistently applied commercial law based on the British Companies Act of 1948 as amended. The judiciary is independent, but businesses complain about the length of time required to obtain judgments. The Supreme Court is an appellate court that also functions as the High Court of Justice. Israel does not employ a jury system. Israel established other tribunals to regulate specific issues and disputes in a specific area of law, including labor courts, antitrust issues, and intellectual property related issues.
Laws and Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment
There are few restrictions on foreign investors, except for parts of defense or other industries closed to outside investors on national security grounds. Foreign investors are welcome to participate in Israel’s privatization program.
Israeli courts exercise authority in cases within the jurisdiction of Israel. However, if an agreement between involved parties contains an exclusively foreign jurisdiction, the Israeli courts will generally decline to exercise their authority.
The Investment Promotion Center of the Ministry of Economy seeks to encourage investment in Israel. The Center stresses Israel’s high marks in innovation, entrepreneurship, and Israel’s creative, skilled, and ambitious workforce. The Center also promotes Israel’s strong ties to the United States and Europe.
Competition and Anti-Trust Laws
Israel adopted its comprehensive competition law in 1988. Israel created the Israel Antitrust Authority (IAA) in 1994 to enforce the competition law.
Expropriation and Compensation
There have been no expropriations of U.S.-owned businesses in Israel in the recent past. Israeli law requires adequate payment, with interest from the day of expropriation until final payment, in cases of expropriation.
ICSID Convention and New York Convention
Israel is a member of the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) of the World Bank and the New York Convention of 1958 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. Israel ratified the New York Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 1958 in 1959.
Investor-State Dispute Settlement
The Israeli government accepts binding international arbitration of investment disputes between foreign investors and the state. Israel’s Arbitration Law of 1968 governs both domestic and international arbitration proceedings in the country. The Israeli Knesset amended the law most recently in 2008. There are no known extrajudicial actions against foreign investors.
International Commercial Arbitration and Foreign Courts
Israel formally institutionalized mediation in 1992 with the amendment of the Courts Law of 1984. The amendment granted courts the authority to refer civil disputes to mediation or arbitration with party consent. The Israeli courts tend to uphold and enforce arbitration agreements. Israel’s Arbitration Law predates the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law.
Israeli Bankruptcy Law is based on several layers, some rooted in Common Law, when Palestine was under the British mandate in 1917-1948. Bankruptcy Law in Israel is mostly based on British law enacted in Palestine in 1936 during the British mandate.
Bankruptcy proceedings are based on the bankruptcy ordinance (1980), which replaced the mandatory ordinance enacted in 1936. Therefore, the bankruptcy law in Israel resembles the British law as it was more or less in 1936. Israel ranks 29th in the World Bank’s 2018 Doing Business Report’s “resolving insolvency” category.
4. Industrial Policies
The State of Israel encourages both local and foreign investment by offering a wide range of incentives and benefits to investors in industry, tourism, and real estate. Israel’s Ministry of Economy places a priority on investments in hi-tech companies and R&D activities.
Most investment incentives available to Israeli citizens are also available to foreign investors. Israel’s Encouragement of Capital Investments Law, 5719-1959, outlines Israel’s investment incentive programs. The Israel Investment Center (IIC) coordinates the country’s investment incentive programs.
For complete information, potential investors should contact:
Investment Promotion Center
Ministry of Economy
5 Bank of Israel Street,
Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports/Trade Facilitation
Israel has bilateral Qualifying Industrial Zone (QIZ) Agreements with Egypt and Jordan. The QIZ initiative allows Egypt and Jordan to export products to the United States duty-free, as long as these products contain inputs from Israel (8 percent in the Israel-Jordan QIZ agreement, 10.5 percent in the Israel-Egypt QIZ agreement). Products manufactured in QIZs must comply with strict rules of origin. More information is available at the Israeli Ministry of Economy’s Foreign Trade Administration website:
Performance and Data Localization Requirements
There are no universal performance requirements on investments, but “offset” requirements are often included in sales contracts with the government. In some sectors, there is a requirement that Israelis own a percentage of a company. Israel’s visa and residency requirements are transparent. The Israeli government does not impose preferential policies on exports by foreign investors.
5. Protection of Property Rights
Israel has a modern legal system based on British common law that provides effective means for enforcing property and contractual rights. Courts are independent. Israeli civil procedures provide that judgments of foreign courts may be accepted and enforced by local courts. The Israeli judicial system recognizes and enforces secured interests in property. A reliable system of recording such secured interests exists. The Israeli Land Administration, which manages land in Israel on behalf of the government, registers property transactions. Registering or obtaining land rights is a cumbersome process and Israel currently ranks 89th in “Registering Property” according to the World Bank’s 2019 Doing Business Report.
Intellectual Property Rights
The Israel Patent Office (ILPO) within the Ministry of Justice is the principal government authority overseeing the legal protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) in Israel. IPR protection in Israel has undergone many changes in recent decades as the Israeli economy has rapidly transformed into a knowledge-based economy.
In recent years, Israel revised its IPR legal framework several times to comply with newly signed international treaties. Israel took stronger, more comprehensive steps towards protecting IPR, and the government acknowledges that IPR theft costs rights holders millions of dollars per year, reducing tax revenues and slowing economic growth.
The United States removed Israel from the Special 301 Report in 2014 after Israel passed patent legislation that satisfied the remaining commitments Israel made in a Memorandum of Understanding with the United States in 2010 concerning several longstanding issues regarding Israel’s IPR regime for pharmaceutical products. Israel is not included in the Notorious Markets List.
Israel’s Knesset approved Amendment No. 5 to Israel’s Copyright Law of 2007 on January 1, 2019. The amendment aims to establish measures to combat copyright infringement on the internet while preserving the balance among copyright owners, internet users, and the free flow of information and free speech.
In July 2017, the Israeli Knesset passed the New Designs Bill, replacing Israel’s existing but obsolete ordinance governing industrial design. The bill, which came into force in August 2018, brings Israel into compliance with The Hague System for International Registration of Industrial designs.
Nevertheless, the United States remains concerned with the limitations of Israel’s copyright legislation, particularly related to digital copyright matters and with Israel’s interpretation of its commitment to protect data derived from pharmaceutical testing conducted in anticipation of the future marketing of biological products, also known as biologics.
While Israel has instituted several legislative improvements in recent years, the United States continues to urge Israel to strengthen and improve its IPR enforcement regime. Israel lacks specialized courts, common in other countries with advanced IPR regimes. General civil or administrative courts in Israel typically adjudicate IPR cases.
IPR theft in Israel is common and relatively sophisticated. The EU ranks Israel as a “third tier” priority country concerning the level of IPR protection and enforcement. The EU cites inadequate protection of innovative pharmaceutical products and end-user software piracy as the main issues with IPR enforcement in Israel.
Israel is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It is a signatory to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, the Universal Copyright Convention, the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, and the Patent Cooperation Treaty. Israel was obligated to implement the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) by January 1, 2000, but has failed to do so.
6. Financial Sector
Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment
The Israeli government is supportive of foreign portfolio investment. The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) is Israel’s only public stock exchange.
Financial institutions in Israel allocate credit on market terms. For many years, banks issued credit to only a handful of individuals and corporate entities, some of whom held controlling interests in banks. However, in recent years, banks significantly reduced their exposure to large borrowers following the introduction of stronger regulatory restrictions on preferential lending practices.
The primary profit center for Israeli banks are consumer-banking fees. Various credit instruments are available to the private sector and foreign investors can receive credit on the local market. Legal, regulatory, and accounting systems are transparent and conform to international norms, although the prevalence of inflation-adjusted accounting means there are differences from U.S. accounting principles.
In the case of publicly traded firms where ownership is widely dispersed, the practice of “cross-shareholding” and “stable shareholder” arrangements to prevent mergers and acquisitions is common, but not directed particularly at preventing potential foreign investment. Israel has no laws or regulations regarding the adoption by private firms of articles of incorporation or association that limit or prohibit foreign investment, participation, or control.
Money and Banking System
The Bank of Israel (BOI) is Israel’s Central Bank and regulates all banking activity and monetary policy. In general, Israel has a healthy banking system that offers most of the same services as the U.S. banking system. Fees for normal banking transactions are significantly higher in Israel than in the United States and some services do not meet U.S. standards. There are 12 commercial banks and four foreign banks operating in Israel, according to the BOI. Five major banks, led by Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi, the two largest banks, dominate Israel’s banking sector. Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi control nearly 60 percent of Israel’s credit market. The State of Israel holds six percent of Bank Leumi’s shares. All of Israel’s other banks are privatized.
Foreign Exchange and Remittances
Israel completed its foreign exchange liberalization process on January 1, 2003, when it removed the last restrictions on the freedom of institutional investors to invest abroad. The Israeli shekel is a freely convertible currency and there are no foreign currency controls. The BOI maintains the option to intervene in foreign currency trading in the event of movements in the exchange rate not in line with fundamental economic conditions, or if the BOI assesses the foreign exchange market is not functioning appropriately. Israeli citizens can invest without restriction in foreign markets. Foreign investors can open shekel accounts that allow them to invest freely in Israeli companies and securities. These shekel accounts are fully convertible into foreign exchange. Israel’s foreign exchange reserves totaled USD 115.3 billion at the end of 2018.
Most foreign currency transactions must be carried out through an authorized dealer. An authorized dealer is a banking institution licensed to arrange, inter alia, foreign currency transactions for its clients. The authorized dealer must report large foreign exchange transactions to the Controller of Foreign Currency. There are no limitations or significant delays in the remittance of profits, debt service, or capital gains.
Sovereign Wealth Funds
Israel passed legislation to establish the Israel Citizens’ Wealth Fund, a sovereign wealth fund managed by the BOI, in 2014 to offset the effect of natural gas production on the exchange rate. The BOI expects the fund to begin operating in 2019 and expects it to begin investing money abroad in 2020. The law establishing the fund states that it will begin operating a month after the state’s tax revenues from natural gas exceed USD 275 million (1 billion New Israeli Shekels). Analysts believe tax revenues will not exceed that threshold until at least 2020.
7. State-Owned Enterprises
Israel established the Government Companies Authority (GCA) following the passage of the Government Companies Law. The GCA is an auxiliary unit of the Ministry of Finance. It is the administrative agency for state-owned companies in charge of supervision, privatization, and implementation of structural changes. The Israeli state only provides support for commercial SOEs in exceptional cases. The GCA leads the recruitment process for SOE board members. Board appointments are subject to the approval of a committee, which confirms whether candidates meet the minimum board member criteria set forth by law.
The GCA oversees some 100 companies, including commercial and noncommercial companies, government subsidiaries, and companies under mixed government-private ownership. Among these companies are some of the biggest and most complex in the Israeli economy, such as the Israel Electric Corporation, Israel Aerospace Industries, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Israel Postal Company, Mekorot Israel National Water Company, Israel Natural Gas Lines, the Ashdod, Haifa, and Eilat Port Companies, Israel Railways, Petroleum and Energy Infrastructures and the Israel National Roads Company. The GCA does not publish a publicly available list of SOEs.
Israel is party to the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) of the World Trade Organization.
In late 2014, Israel’s cabinet approved a privatization plan allowing the government to issue minority stakes of up to 49 percent in state-owned companies on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange over a three-year period, a plan estimated to increase government revenue by USD 4.1 billion. The plan aimed to sell stakes in Israel’s electric company, water provider, railway, post office and some defense-related contractors. The GCA will likely auction minority stakes in a public bidding process without formal restrictions on the participation of foreign investors. Restrictions on foreign investors could be possible in the case of companies deemed to be of strategic significance.
According to press reports from February 2018, the GCA is in the initial stages of developing a plan to issue some shares of these same government companies. For example, in March 2018, the government agreed to sell Israel Military Industries to Elbit, an Israel headquartered international defense electronics company. Those same reports said the sale of shares in Israel Aerospace Industries, Mekorot Israel National Water Company, Israel Post, Haifa Port, and Ashdod Port could generate billions of shekels in revenue for the government.
8. Responsible Business Conduct
There is awareness of responsible business conduct among enterprises and civil society. Israel adheres to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and a National Contact Point is operating in the Foreign Trade Administration. Israel is not a member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.
Israel’s National Contact Point sits in the Responsible Business Conduct unit in the OECD Department of the Foreign Trade Administration in the Ministry of Economy and Industry. An advisory committee, including representatives from the Ministries of Economy, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Justice, and the Environment, assist the National Contact Point. The National Contact Point also works in cooperation with the Manufacturer’s Association of Israel, workers’ organizations, and civil society to promote awareness of the guidelines.
Bribery and other forms of corruption are illegal under several Israeli laws and Civil Service regulations. Israel became a signatory to the OECD Bribery convention in November 2008 and a full member of the OECD in May 2010. Israel ranks 34 out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index dropping two places from its 2017 ranking. Several Israeli NGOs focus on public sector ethics in Israel and Transparency International has a local chapter.
Israel is a signatory of the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.
The Israeli National Police, state comptroller, Attorney General, and Accountant General are responsible for combating official corruption. These entities operate effectively and independently and are sufficiently resourced. NGOs that focus on anticorruption efforts operate freely without government interference.
The international NGO Transparency International closely monitors corruption in Israel.
Resources to Report Corruption
Ministry of Justice
Office of the Director General
29 Salah a-Din Street Jerusalem
02-6466533, 02-6466534, 02-6466535
Transparency International Israel
Ms. Ifat Zamir
Tel Aviv University, Faculty of Management
+972 3 640 9176
10. Political and Security Environment
For the latest safety and security information regarding Israel and the current travel advisory level, see the Travel Advisory for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/israel-west-bank-and-gaza-travel-advisory.html).
The security situation remains complex in Israel and the West Bank, and can change quickly depending on the political environment, recent events, and geographic location. Terrorist groups and lone-wolf terrorists continue plotting possible attacks in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities. Violence can occur in Jerusalem and the West Bank without warning. Terror attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank have resulted in the deaths and injury of U.S. citizens and others. Hamas, a U.S. government-designated foreign terrorist organization, controls security in Gaza. The security environment within Gaza and on its borders is dangerous and volatile.
11. Labor Policies and Practices
The most recent Central Bureau of Statistics data from January 2018 indicates there are nearly 3.9 million people active in the Israeli labor force. According to a 2018 OECD report, 48 percent of Israeli 25-34-year olds attained a tertiary education. Many university students specialize in fields with high industrial R&D potential, including engineering, computer science, mathematics, physical sciences, and medicine. According to the Investment Promotion Center, there are more than 135 scientists out of every 100,000 workers in Israel, one of the highest rates in the world. The rapid growth of Israel’s high-tech sector in the late 1990s increased the demand for workers with specialized skills.
The unemployment rate among 25-64 year-olds was 3.6 percent in February 2019, according to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics.
According to Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority, at the end of 2018 there were 98,214 foreign workers in Israel, compared with 88,378 at the end of 2017. There were 16,230 undocumented workers in Israel at the end of 2018, compared with 17,852 at the end of 2017.
The national labor federation, the Histadrut, organizes about one-third of all Israeli workers. Collective bargaining negotiations in the public sector take place between the Histadrut and representatives from the Ministry of Finance. The number of strikes has declined significantly as the public sector has gotten smaller. However, strikes remain a common and viable negotiating vehicle in many difficult wage negotiations.
Israel strictly observes the Friday afternoon to Saturday afternoon Jewish Sabbath and special permits must be obtained from the government authorizing Sabbath employment. At the age of 18, most Israelis are required to perform 2-3 years of national service. Until their mid-40s, Israeli males are required to perform about a month of military reserve duty annually, during which time they receive compensation from national insurance companies.
12. OPIC and Other Investment Insurance Programs
There is an Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) agreement between Israel and the United States and OPIC is involved in several projects in Israel. OPIC provided a USD 250 million construction loan for a 110MW concentrated solar power (CSP) project in the Negev. OPIC also finances projects sponsored by U.S. investors in Israel. Israel is a member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).
13. Foreign Direct Investment and Foreign Portfolio Investment Statistics
Table 2: Key Macroeconomic Data, U.S. FDI in Host Country/Economy
Table 3: Sources and Destination of FDI
|Direct Investment From/in Counterpart Economy Data|
|From Top Five Sources/To Top Five Destinations (US Dollars, Millions)|
|Inward Direct Investment||Outward Direct Investment|
|Total Inward||$129,100||100%||Total Outward||$100,300||100%|
|“0” reflects amounts rounded to +/- $500,000.|
Table 4: Sources of Portfolio Investment
|Portfolio Investment Assets|
|Top Five Partners (Millions, US Dollars)|
|Total||Equity Securities||Total Debt Securities|
|All Countries||$147,679||100%||All Countries||$82,419||100%||All Countries||$65,260||100%|
|United States||$74,667||51%||United States||$45,057||55%||United States||$29,610||45%|
|Not Specified||$26,727||18%||United Kingdom||$10,107||12%||Not Specified||$23,863||37%|
14. Contact for More Information
U.S. Embassy Jerusalem – Tel Aviv Branch Office
+972 (0)3 519 7547