Israel Accepted into OECD
After 16 year effort, Israel finally a member.
Israel won a victory after a 16-year effort to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The Paris-based OECD said it had invited Israel, as well as Estonia and Slovenia, to become members after they met specific criteria as developed, open economies. Once formally invested as members, the three will swell the ranks of the OECD to 34 members.
The 31 members of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) voted unanimously on Monday in favour of accepting Israel into the group, Haaretz reported.
"All three countries have been receptive to OECD recommendations on important issues," OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria said. "The OECD accession process has delivered real policy changes and reform in all candidate countries."
According to Israeli officials, admittance into the Paris-based group is an important marker for Israel’s economy, enhancing its ties with foreign investors, and placing it on par with other economically advanced nations.
Three OECD members, Switzerland, Ireland and Norway, had previously expressed doubts about Israel’s acceptance into the group, citing the issue of Israel’s settlements, which the country does not treat as separate economic bodies.
All new members, however, require the approval of all 31 members. As such, Israel’s economic recognition marks a significant step in the country’s international approval.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman welcomed Israel's acceptance into the esteemed economic organization, calling it "a stamp of approval for the country's economy and its achievements in technology."
"The resolution was unanimous, despite attempts by anti-Israel entities to prevent the acceptance of Israel into the OECD," Lieberman said in a statement, adding that "the fact that the attempts failed is proof of Israel's solid standing with the international community, and that it is recognized for its achievements, despite the fierce incitement against it in every conceivable arena: political, security or economic."
According to Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, this is a "historic achievement" for Israel.
The three new members "will contribute to a more plural and open OECD that is playing an increasingly important role in the global economic architecture," OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria said in a statement. She also told a news conference in Paris that Israeli politics and Mideast tensions were "not the main focus of discussion," but acknowledged, "The entire process of membership is political."
Stanley Fischer, The head of Israel's central bank, mentioned that the membership is an important step towards Israel's integration into the global economy and follows Israel's commitment to meet the highest international standards.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to hold a special press conference later today to discuss Israel's admittance into the internationally recognized organization.