The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a 31-country economic group of developed nations, on May 10 agreed unanimously to invite Israel to become a member.
Membership is thought likely to boost Israel’s economic standing and help attract investment. It is also seen as an important diplomatic victory for Israel on the international stage.
Along with Israel, Estonia and Slovenia also became members of the Paris-based organization established in 1961, so that 34 countries are now members. The formal accession ceremony will be held at the organization’s Paris headquarters on May 27.
The newest members “will contribute to a more plural and open OECD that is playing an increasingly important role in the global economic architecture,” says OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.
Gurria visited Israel earlier this year to discuss several issues, including strengthening laws against bribery in international business, mostly focused on Israel’s weapons trade and patent rules in its large generic drug industry.
“Israel’s scientific and technological policies have produced outstanding outcomes on a world scale,” says an OECD statement.
Over the decades, Israel has evolved from a tiny farming nation into a high-tech powerhouse, known for its numerous start-ups, developments in communications, software and military technology, with an annual per capita gross domestic product approaching $30,000 dollars.