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Fischer: Cleantech can be growth engine for Israel

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Friday, July 9th, 2010

As reported by IVC “Government incentives are important, but private sector financing should lead the industry’s development.”

Israel has relative advantages in cleantech sectors, including innovation, entrepreneurship, human capital, and R&D, which can help Israeli companies succeed and advance in the industry, said Governor of the Bank of Israel Prof. Stanley Fischer at the 14th CleanTech 2010 Expo in Tel Aviv today.
Fischer added that Israel has extensive experience in financing innovation through venture capital, and start-ups. Government incentives are important, but private sector financing should lead the industry’s development.

Cleantech development in Israel has many economic advantages. It can serve as a growth engine, and help diversify exports and export targets, which will reduce the economy’s vulnerability to crises. Cleantech can also promote Israel’s environment, reduce the country’s dependence on imported fuels, and help Israel’s integration into the OECD.

Fischer favorably cited the Chinese government’s long-term planning in cleantech, which is turning the country into a leader in investment and manufacturing of renewable energy.

Commenting on the economy, Fischer said that developments in Europe would not have a material effect on global economic growth, and that the Bank of Israel’s 2010 growth forecast of 3.7% and 2011 growth forecast of 4% remained valid. The shekel’s appreciation against the euro will likely affect exports to Europe, but this is offset by the shekel’s recent weakness against the dollar.

Fischer said that Israel’s accession to the OECD would have important consequences, especially its effect on the exposure of Israeli decision-makers to the vast information available in the OECD.