The Israeli Paradox: Accelerating Growth/Overcoming InequalityWednesday, May 2, 2012
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Abby Cohen, Senior Investment Strategist and President, Global Markets Institute, Goldman Sachs
Eugene Kandel, Head of the National Economic Council, Israeli Prime Minister's Office
Aaron Mankovski, Chairman, Israel Advanced Technology Industries (IATI); Managing General Partner, Pitango Venture Capital
Yair Seroussi, Chairman, Bank Hapoalim
Israel produced better risk-adjusted returns than all other developed stock markets in the past decade as its technology-driven economy attracted global investors. But growth has been inadequate and unequally shared within Israel, resulting in high levels of income and wealth inequality. The Israeli paradox is that despite strong GDP growth, the growth rate in GDP per capita has lagged. In a country where social cohesion is requisite for survival, this paradox drew focused attention with peaceful protests last summer; government commissions have been attempting to address issues ranging from the price of cottage cheese to corporate pyramids and economic concentration. Policy discussions are now focused on opportunities to bridge these gaps within Israel and attempt to match the fastest-growing emerging economies. The Israeli paradox represents a case study for emerging and frontier markets in how to accelerate growth while expanding economic inclusion and achieving sustainability.