Israel joins OECD declaration on international investment
The government of Israel has accepted an invitation from the Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries to adhere to the OECD Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises, marking their recognition of its general openness to foreign direct investment and liberal orientation of its economic policies.
The resolution will facilitate a conduit of international investments in Israel and expected to improve Israel's ability to attract such investments. It is an important step in Israel's efforts to integrate into the OECD forum. Extensive efforts were invested in this direction over the past year, including meetings held by the Israeli Minister of Finance Silwan Shalom with the US Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neil.
The declaration calls for treatment of foreign investors by host country governments no less favorable than that applied to domestic enterprises. It also promotes voluntary standards of business conduct under the framework of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
Association with these OECD standards will reinforce the Israeli government's efforts to pursue business-friendly economic reforms. As an adherent to the declaration, Israel will share experiences with the 30 member countries of the OECD and with other adherents to the declaration, at present including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Estonia, Lithuania and Slovenia.
In recent years, Israel has moved from an agrarian economy to a technologically advanced and service-based economy, with gross domestic product per capita now estimated at 88 percent of the OECD average. Regulatory reform and strong international commitments have created a generally enabling and non-discriminatory business environment.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows have increased sharply with the rapid expansion of Israel's high tech sector, reaching a cumulative total of $21 billion by the end of 2001. Cumulative FDI outflows from Israel to other countries exceeded eight billion dollars at the end of last year.
A recent OECD examination of Israel's FDI policies encouraged the Israeli government to dismantle market access barriers and pursue the privatization of the banking sector and other major companies. It also recommended the simplification of administrative procedures. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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