Israel allocates more money to social causes; Yoram Ettinger highlights Israel’s economic successes in 2017, and much more.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
More money for social causes
Israel’s 2019 budget has just been approved. It includes large increases in spending on education ($18 billion), welfare ($13 billion) and healthcare ($11 billion).
Israel’s sustained growth
Ambassador Yoram Ettinger highlights Israel’s economic successes in 2017. Tourism up 24.6%; unemployment down to 4.1%; exports up 5% (despite strong shekel) to $100 billion; low inflation and debt to GDP below 60%. And Israeli startups raised $5.24 billion – up 9%.
Chinese tourism soars
In 2015 there were 47,000 Chinese visitors to Israel, which the Israel Tourism Ministry wanted to double by 2018. (see here) It has smashed that target already, with 113,000 Chinese visiting Israel in 2017. http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-01/23/c_136918314.htm
Over 50 Israeli wineries exhibited
More than 50 Israeli wineries, together with international brands, were displayed in the “Sommelier 2018” exhibition in Tel Aviv. Israel’s largest annual wine event is normally just for industry professionals, but this year it opened to the public during the evenings.
Bringing leading-edge startups to multinationals
Israeli venture fund Jerusalem Venture Partners has launched JVP Play. It aims to connect Israeli startups, developing artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning solutions, with major retail and financial services such as Tesco, Microsoft, Barclays and Deloitte.
Schroders to open Tel Aviv offices
One of Britain’s largest investment management firms, Schroders plc, announced that it is opening offices in Tel Aviv in response to growing demand from clients. Schroders has been active in Israel for about a decade but has been working from its London headquarters until now.
Israeli AI firm becomes French
French e-commerce company Akeno has acquired Sigmento, an Israeli startup that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to help online vendors better describe their products. The company plans to keep development in Tel Aviv with Akeno staff relocating to Israel.
More deals with India
In addition to the WaterGen – Tata pilot above, at least eight other projects began during the Israeli PM’s visit to India. They include Israel’s Phinergy and Ashok Leyland for energy from aluminum-air batteries. And the Israel Electric Company with Andhra Pradesh state, for critical infrastructure.
Israel’s SCD buys US Quantum Imaging
Another example of an Israeli company taking over a US firm. Israel’s SemiConductor Devices (SCD) (jointly owned by Elbit and Rafael) has bought Colorado’s Quantum Imaging, makers of short-wave Infra-red cameras. The aim is to strengthen SCD’s US activities.
An Israeli cybersecurity merger
Hod Hasharon’s Allot Communications is to acquire Tel Aviv’s Netonomy, a developer of software-based cyber security for the connected home. Allot’s multi-service platforms are deployed by over 500 mobile, fixed and cloud service providers and over 1000 enterprises.
Palo Alto opens new Israeli R&D center
Since acquiring two Israeli companies (Cyvera and LightCyber), Palo Alto Networks Israel has grown to 200 employees. Hence it just moved into new Tel Aviv offices – the only R&D site for Palo Alto Networks outside of its global headquarters in Santa Clara, California.
All-consuming geothermal energy
I’ve reported previously (12 times) about Israeli geothermal energy company Ormat Technologies. Ormat has just acquired US Geothermal for a “cool” $110 million. Acquiring US Geothermal’s projects in Idaho and Oregon significantly broadens and diversifies Ormat’s US operations.
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