Excerpt from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's remarks today at the Knesset 27.7.1527 July, 2015
Two days ago I spoke to my friend Indian Prime Minister Modi. We discussed cooperation between India and Israel. We are at a very major turning point in which we are expanding and varying Israel's markets, first of all with the giant economies of Asia – India, Japan and China, but not just there. To this end, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and I discussed cooperation with third countries and, naturally, we are interested in markets throughout Latin America.
Israel is a major economic power. I am not exaggerating but in certain things – such as cyber defense – we are a global power. All of these countries, without exception, are interested in enhancing cooperation with us in this field and in many others – due to the technology, the initiatives and the creativity. These things are creating growth and jobs and are raising our standard of living and I estimate that in the coming years our standard of living will be equal to that of Britain. The distance in GDP per capita is relatively small and we will close this gap.
This is a very great achievement for the State of Israel and has been mainly achieved by our citizens, our entrepreneurs. This creative force of ours is the strength of the Israeli economy and it is the strength of world economies. The room that we give to the private sector to lead the others – this is the engine; let us not be mistaken about this even for a moment.
It is not the government investments or the government money that we are spending out but rather it is what we are doing to encourage the firms, the initiatives and the companies to move forward. This is what pulls the wagon and gives money to social welfare, education and health.
And therefore, we are interested in encouraging our economy and our private sector as much as possible. I say this on the day when Teva has made a major deal. We are proud of our companies – large, medium and small. We want the talents of these entrepreneurs. We want their leadership. The entire world is competing with them and we want to maintain them. We need to drop all the populist talk that goes on here in the Knesset. I reject it outright. We are on the side of growth, initiative, responsibility and prudent government investments. We are committed to these things.
In order for there to be initiatives and businesses here, we need to show the domestic and international business communities that we understand how to run an economy – responsibly and with determination. Therefore we will also pass the budget. Those who think that the budget will not pass will be disappointed. The budget will pass and we will pass the gas outline. There are other things that we need to finish and we will also pass them. We will not allow populism to bury the gas in the ground. The Israeli economy has a bright future and we are moving it forward for the benefit of all Israelis.
I met today with Arab sector mayors and I told them: I want you inside. I want all Israelis moving forward and not in the Middle Ages. I want you integrated into a growing, flourishing and vibrant Israeli society. We will undertake the necessary budgetary steps, for the gas and many other things. We will cut the bureaucracy so that Israel may continue to be a global success story.
Photo: Kobi Tsarfati