Steeped with religious, political, and natural history, Israel is famed for its profound connections to the human past, while the economic dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit of the Startup Nation are sources of inspiration for the worlds future. In a move that underscores the countrys bright outlook, the prestigious Standard & Poors agency has upgraded Israels credit rating to AA– — the nations highestever.

Citing Israels sustained economic growth and stable fiscal outlook, S&P upgraded the countrys rating from A+. The move comes on the heels of Moodys announcement in late July that it had boosted Israels outlook to positive.

These decisions reflect the strength of the Israeli economy and the correct and responsible economic policy that we are leading on behalf of Israel’s citizens, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.

The S&P decision will further expand Israels access to credit and investment under more favorable terms. Noting that the decision will yield billions of shekels in savings, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said those savings would be harnessed to boost spending on health, education, and social welfare investments in the human capital that undergirds Israels economic performance.

S&P forecasts economic growth of 3.3 percent per year from 2018 to 2021, pointing to increased private spending, corporate investments, and the Startup Nations service exports.

Israel has demonstrated sound economic performance since the global financial crisis, with a current GDP of about $140 billion (or 50%) larger than in 2010, the current account in a sustainable surplus, and unemployment at historical lows,S&P noted.

Eli Cohen, Minister of Economy and Industry, predicted that the S&P decision foreshadowed additional upgrades for Israel. “The Israeli economy has broken another record. After surpassing the exports record by crossing the $100 billion threshold and reaching a 50year low in unemployment, now, for the first time, the Israeli economy is rated AA,Cohen said.

S&Ps AArating is an important vote of confidence in the State of Israel and in the Israeli economy, thanks to smart and responsible economic policies reflected in our debttoGDP ratio and economic growth figures,he continued. “The global economys growing reliance on technological innovation and the fact that Israel is a tech powerhouse sets the stage for additional rating increases.”

Indeed, Israels vibrant tech ecosystem is a major driver of the countrys economic success, with Israeli startups raising a record $5.24 billion in 2017. With $3.7 billion raised in the first seven months of 2018, the countrys startups are poised to surpass last years record. The nation is at the forefront of innovations in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, auto tech, mobility, health tech, and more. Israels tech industry benefits from a topflight talent pool trained at institutions like the Technion and the IDFs elite Unit 8200 intelligence division, as well as a robust government commitment to supporting innovation through vehicles like the Israel Innovation Authority, which provides funding, R&D support, incubator programs, and more for emerging startups.

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