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September 29, 2017 1:32 pm

World Economic Forum Lauds Israeli Competitiveness

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The Tel Aviv skyline at night. Photo: Gilad Avidan via Wikimedia Commons. – Israel was ranked 16th on the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, released Wednesday, which shows the Jewish state moving up eight positions from the previous year.

This is the first time Israel ranks among the index’s top 20 nations.

The annual report ranks the competitiveness of 137 countries. The listing is based on dozens of market competition drivers, including economic and fiscal policies that determine the level of productivity in the country, which assesses countries’ ability to provide high levels of prosperity to their citizens.

“Global competitiveness will be more and more defined by the innovative capacity of a country,” Klaus Schwab, WEF founder and executive chairman, said in a statement.

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Switzerland was named is the world’s most competitive economy for the ninth consecutive year. The US was ranked second, Singapore was ranked third and Israel drew 16th place.

The report noted the two elements jeopardizing the Israeli economy’s growth were government bureaucracy and high tax rates. Israel’s overall score on government bureaucracy dropped to 21.6, compared to 18.6 last year, indicating an increase in the burden regulation and bureaucracy impose on the economy.

The report states that Israel maintained its position among world’s top three innovative countries. It noted that the Jewish state earned its reputation as a startup nation due to a large number of inventions and innovations since it became a sovereign nation in 1948 despite the many challenges it faces.

“We see the rise in the competitiveness ranking as official recognition for the efforts by the Israeli government to improve the business environment, but the main problems, the burden of regulation and bureaucracy, are still here,” Manufacturers Association of Israel President Shraga Brosh said.

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