Kahlon: Israel progressing toward Asian Development Bank membership

Kahlon met with French counterpart Bruno Le Maire in Bercy, together with Finance Ministry director-general Shai Babad and chief economist Shira Greenberg.

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September 8, 2019 06:29
2 minute read.
French Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire (L) with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon.

French Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire (L) with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon.. (photo credit: SPOKESPERSON OF THE FINANCE MINISTER)

Israel has made “significant progress” in its efforts to join the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said Friday after returning from a brief visit to Paris.

Kahlon met with French counterpart Bruno Le Maire in Bercy, together with Finance Ministry director-general Shai Babad and chief economist Shira Greenberg.

The meeting dealt with subjects of economic cooperation between Israel and France, most notably Israel’s endeavors to join the ADB. Kahlon said that France, a member of the ADB since 1970, will support Israel’s membership efforts.

Founded in 1966, the Philippines-headquartered ADB is composed of 68 members, of which 49 are from the Asia and Pacific region. In partnership with member governments, the ADB provides loans, technical assistance and grants for the development of member countries.

The bank also provides assistance to private enterprises of developing member countries through equity investments and loans. In 2018, the ADB invested a total of $35.82 billion in the Asia and Pacific region.

“Economic cooperation between Israel and France, one of the world’s leading economies, is stronger than ever,” said Kahlon.

“The finance minister and his team have shown great interest in Israeli innovation and expressed their desire to increase French investment in Israeli technologies.

“We have made significant progress through the expression of Finance Minister Le Maire’s willingness to support Israel’s membership of the Asian Development Bank, which could increase Israeli exports by billions of dollars each year. I thanked minister Le Maire for the deep cooperation and friendship between the countries.”

Additional topics raised during their meeting, Kahlon said, included French investment in Israeli automotive technology, the integration of Airbus aircraft into Israeli airlines, further expansion of French sporting goods retailer Decathlon, and boosting the activity of French infrastructure companies in the Israel.

During his visit to Paris, Kahlon also met with Ángel Gurría, the secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Marking almost a decade since Israel became a member of the OECD, Kahlon raised the possibility that Israel would be interested in heading the 2020 Ministerial Council Meeting, the organization’s most important annual conference.

Kahlon and Gurría also announced the launch of a program to employ Israeli interns in the OECD’s operations. The program, due to commence in the coming months, will offer young academics the opportunity to work in the OECD for a period between six months to one year, and the possibility of full-time employment following the conclusion of the internship.


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