Pres. Peres: Through the OECD we will be able to present the other Israel – innovative, technological, scientific.

 President Peres met with OECD Sec-Gen Gurria


Photo: Jini/Michal Fattal

(Communicated by the President’s Spokesperson)

President Shimon Peres held a working meeting on Tuesday, 19 January, with OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria. Thirty-one states among the most developed in the world – comprising 2/3 of the global GNP – are members of the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development), and Israel is a leading candidate to join the organization.

The President told the Secretary General that Israel thanks him and the organization for its friendship and for the productive process and is gladly making preparations for joining the organization. "Through the organization we will be able to present the other Israel, the innovative, leading, technological, scientific state that takes care of all its citizens. This is of high importance," President Peres said.

The President described to SG Gurria all the areas in which Israel is counted among world leaders and emphasized that he is "convinced that the day peace is achieved between Israel and its neighbors, the GNP per person will rise from its current level to $35,000 a person."

SG Gurria presented the President with the organization’s latest report concerning Israel’s economy and the job market and welfare situation. The reports show the latest gaps that must be bridged before Israel’s cooption in the OECD. Mr. Gurria told President Peres that the organization is operating vis-à-vis the relevant Israeli ministries in order to overcome the remaining disparities and admitted that "this is an exciting step for us and we wanted to tell you that there is significant progress in the field."

President Peres thanked the OECD for its recommendations and, concerning widening the employment circle and incorporating in it sectors of the Israeli economy such as the ultra-orthodox and the Arabs, the President presented the Secretary General with concrete examples of what is being done to improve the social and economic situation. For example, Peres told his guest about the CEO bus initiative, in which senior figures in the Israeli economy joined him on a tour of Nazareth to expose them to the beginnings of high-tech activity in Arab society.