(photo credit: Tamar Matsafi)
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz on Monday attributed Israel’s strong economic
growth to the government’s long-term approach to countering the global financial
“Our approach was based on the idea that in the economy, the
future is more relevant to the present status of the economy than the present
itself,” he said in the opening speech at the annual Landmark Ventures Israel
Dealmakers Summit in Tel Aviv.
Gross domestic product expanded at an
annualized rate of 7.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, a figure that
Steinitz admitted could be “too good to be true” for a developed economy like
However, he criticized the Keynesian approach of developed
countries that introduced quick-fix stimulus packages in 2009 to counter the
financial crisis, saying that his government was correct to implement such
long-term measures as the two-year budget it passed for 2011 and 2012.
am personally convinced that this is mandatory for all states in all times...
but particularly in times of crisis,” Steinitz said of the two-year budget,
adding that it was especially important during economic recovery as it displayed
confidence and flexibility.
Speaking before an audience made up largely
of business and venture-capital leaders, he said the government placed great
importance on preserving the advantages of the local hi-tech industry, pointing
to the appointment last year of former NICE Systems CEO Haim Shani as
director-general of the Finance Ministry.
Steinitz also said his ministry
was in talks with a number of multinational corporations, which should lead to
the opening of more research and development centers in Israel in the near