Yesterday, Israel was unanimously approved to join the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).  Excited, yet?  Well, it is a significant milestone for Israel.

The OECD is now made up of 34 nations, mostly in Europe and North America.  It is a club for democratic countries with market-based economies, membership constituting a recognition of developed economic status.  It has taken Israel years of reforms and fiscal self-discipline to reach this stage.  But, as Prime Minister Netanyahu stated, the hard work has paid off:

“Acceptance to the OECD was made possible thanks to Israel transforming into a developed country with a free market, while also strictly adhering to responsible and balanced economic policies in recent decades. These policies included reduction of Israel’s debt, maintaining fiscal and development policies, cutting taxes and making the capital market more sophisticated.”

As their short promo video indicates, the OECD focuses on obtaining and analyzing data to provide objective information that can assist countries in creating sustainable economic growth, boosting employment, raising living standards, and maintaining financial stability.  And, in bringing together decision makers to share how policies have played out in their own countries, OECD members benefit from that shared knowledge.  Plus, membership has its privileges:

“Becoming a member of the OECD, Israel will be recognized as a developed economy alongside the most developed economies in the world,” Netanyahu said. “There are certain funds abroad that have to invest a great portion of their money only in developed countries, so that Israel’s membership in the organization will extend the range of potential investors in Israeli bonds and in the Israeli economy.”

Congratulations to Israel on its ascension, and hopefully this will open the door to even more prosperity and growth for its citizens, fellow member countries, and the rest of the world!