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Has Israel finally “made it” to the class of first world economic nations?

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Israel Has Been Accepted Into The Paris Club Of Rich Creditor Nations

PARIS — Israel on Tuesday joined an influential group of rich world economic nations that help poor indebted economies, giving the country an international boost of recognition for its economic accomplishments.

The Paris Club announced Israel’s induction, bringing the club’s membership to 20 countries. The club is an informal group of governments, including the United States, that collectively negotiates deals with poor countries struggling with huge debts. It was created in 1956 and has worked out loan deals for 90 countries.

It can cancel or restructure debts when countries are at risk of default. Argentina agreed in May with the Paris Club on a plan to resolve US$9.7 (S$7.76) billion in debts that have gone unpaid since its economic collapse in 2001-2002.

Finance Minister Yair Lapid lauded the Paris Club announcement, saying it “shows Israel’s economic might and presents additional proof that Israel’s place is alongside the strongest countries.”

Once a tiny farming nation, Israel has evolved into a high-tech economy with numerous start-ups and companies in communications, software and military technology. Its economy continues to grow, and unemployment is roughly 6 percent, well ahead of the double-digit levels seen in many parts of Europe.

After a 16-year effort, Israel was accepted into the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a policy forum for the world’s most developed economies, in 2010.

The origin of the Paris Club dates back to 1956 when Argentina agreed to meet its public creditors in Paris. Since then the debt treated in the framework of Paris Club agreements amounts to US$573 (S$458.4) billion.

Its current members are representatives of the governments of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, the Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

To read the full “Jewish Business News” article

To read the full “The Times of Israel” article