Steve Forbes, businessman and chief editor of Forbes Magazine, raised high hopes for the growth potential of the Israeli economy if liberalization reforms are continued and taxes lowered. "The Israeli economy demonstrates that when you reduce the heavy-handed government burden wonderful things happen. Even though Israel still remains in a very tough neighborhood, if these reforms are continued, the Israeli economy should show greater economic growth," said Forbes at a conference in Tel Aviv celebrating the third anniversary of the Forbes Israel Hebrew Magazine. "The great strength of the Israeli economy is the human mind and high technology and the importance of the brain over the matter." On Tuesday night, Forbes received a honorary degree from Haifa University. Forbes, a strong supporter of a flat tax rate policy, said he hoped that Israel would introduce a simplified tax code with low tax rates as a basis for higher growth. "When you lower taxes the economy prospers, which has been proven time and time again and still politicians find this difficult to understand," Forbes said in a discussion with Likud Chairman Binyamin Netanyahu, talking about the Israeli economy in the global world. Netanyahu added that if Israel continued to lower taxes, reduced government intervention and increased competition, the economy could grow between 7 and 9 percent annually for a decade.