However, despite the country’s healthy economic development there are still high levels of inequality and poverty (24%), and its economy is largely based on exports (more than a third of GDP).
Israel has limited natural resources although it has recently started exploiting its significant hydrocarbon reserves. It is one of the world’s top producers of agricultural products such as milk and cotton, both in terms of quantity and quality. Wine production is also strong, with global sales of $220 million.
Nicknamed the “Start-up Nation”, it has become a world leader in state-of-the-art technologies and spends 4.5% of its GDP on research & development, one of the highest proportions in the world in this field.
It is therefore no surprise that the service sector represents more than 78% of its GDP, with industry at 20% and agriculture 2%.
A country open to international trade
Every year Israel stimulates international trade by setting up free trade agreements and reforming customs duties.
Although the country is developing in new markets such as America, Asia and Africa, Europe remains its main trading partner, with $3.6 billion in exports to the EU in 2013.
In 2012 Israel spent €1.15 billion on importing French goods. Most of these imports are intermediate products, hydrocarbons and consumer goods (food and drink, technical equipment and transport).
Sources: CBS (Israel Central Bureau of Statistics), Directorate General of the Treasury in France