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About Business in Israel
The powerful Romans regarded ancient Israel as one of their most strategically important locations. Great roads and aqueducts interconnected bustling cities vital to the empire’s financial strength and political stability. For two thousand years, the Crusaders, Ottomans, and other world powers regarded this region as crucial for their economic and strategic vitality. Two millenniums later, the world is becoming a collective of individual cultures striving to achieve common social and economic goals through expanding globalization and a process of mutual economic fulfillment.
In today’s global environment, modern Israel is once again becoming a vital element in the international strategies of both large and small global businesses. Long considered a critical region, the Near East has transformed into an attractive wellspring of commercial opportunity. As geopolitical change continues to unfold, Israel is rapidly assuming stature as an ideal gateway to vast, largely untapped, and highly lucrative markets.
A highly westernized nation located at the gateway to eastern cultures, Israel is positioned to become a commercial hub for numerous multinational companies. A Mediterranean country with a distinct “Suburban America” flavor, a friendly, outgoing population, and a mild sun-belt climate, Israel has recently experienced an influx of US corporations seeking to establish a foothold in the region.
The desire to transform a mostly barren land into a modern state was a key factor in Israel's scientific inquiry and technological development. At first, research focused on projects of national importance. Today, the percentage of Israelis engaged in scientific, and technological investigation, and the amount spent on research and development (R&D) in relation to its GDP, are among the highest in the world. Multinational research foundations play a crucial role in a wide variety of activities, ranging from basic research to industrial development and marketing.
In communications, R&D-based applications include the digitalizing, processing, transmitting and enhancing of images, speech, and data. Products range from advanced telephone exchanges to voice messaging systems and telephone line doublers. Israel is also a world leader in fiber-optics, electro-optic inspection systems for printed circuit boards and thermal imaging night-vision systems. Computer-based equipment, mostly in software and peripheral fields, has been developed and produced. While some of Israel's software products are designed for use on mainframe computers, most have been developed for small or medium-sized systems such as computer workstations. A computer mouse with three touch pads, allowing the visually impaired to "read" text and graphics on screen, was recently developed. In addition, Israel produces robots designed to perform a wide variety of tasks, including diamond polishing, welding, packing and building and research is now underway in the application of artificial intelligence to robot systems.
US consumer product manufacturers, retailers, food chains, industrial corporations, and service providers have established local Israeli operations as a vehicle for commercial expansion in the Near East. Tapping Israel’s highly professional workforce, robust economy, thriving consumer markets, and dynamic commercial environment, US companies have successfully initiated independent operations or joint ventures with local Israeli partners.
Israel's four main cities are Jerusalem the capital; Tel Aviv, focus of the country's industrial, commercial, financial and cultural life, founded (1909) as the first Jewish city in modern times; Haifa, a major Mediterranean port and the industrial center of northern Israel; and Be'er Sheva, the largest population center in the south.