At present, the economy of Israel is considered to be a success story. Despite the fact that the country has virtually no natural resources and in spite of a major ongoing armed conflict and waves of immigration from all over the world adding to the enormous load placed on it, Israel is still ranked as one of the most prosperous countries in the world. Two of the contributing factors to this success are aid provided by Israel’s allies and a highly educated work force.
Since the State of Israel was founded in 1948, its exports have grown from around thirty million dollars per year to more than thirty billion. Over this period of time, a lot of changes have taken place in its field of economy. During its start, Israel’s main exports were citrus fruits along with processed diamonds and a few industrial products. Today, Israel’s strongest products come from its high-tech industry, applied to such diverse areas as electronics, hardware, software, optics, communications and the medical industry.
Over time, the ideology driving the Israeli economy has also transformed. When it was just getting started, this economy’s nature was prominently centralist, marked by a lot of government involvement. Following a major political change in government as a result of the 1977 elections, Israel’s governing administrations have gradually adopted a more liberal policy regarding the economy.
The GDP of the country is estimated to be about 179 billion US dollars and the GDP per capita is some 27,300 US dollars, ranking Israel in the 21st place compared with all the other OECD countries in 2008. Its export sum around 2.98 billion US dollars a year, while imports total around 3.3 billion US dollars. The yearly growth rate in 2008 was estimated to be 4.1%, the inflation rate in early 2009 was about 3.4% and the unemployment rate back then was around 6.8%. The Israeli economy is characterized by the predominant sector of high-tech, which came to play this role after greatly contributing to the country’s impressive economic growth in the 1990s. Additional prominent sectors include pharmaceuticals, tourism, chemicals, the military industries, the metal industry and processed diamonds.