Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took aim at government intervention in the Israeli economy.
The Israeli PM blamed overregulation and state interference in the economy for Israel’s failure to attract outside investment and the relatively modest pace of economic growth.
Netanyahu noted that the government is well aware that free market gives consumers “power of choice” and motivates producers to be incentive and innovative. Netanyahu cited that Israel has excessive import regulation, excessive bureaucracy and excessive legislation; the combination of which causes Israel to be less and less competitive, less attractive to foreign investors. He noted that the size, power, and cost of the state bureaucracy is correspondingly reduced as various activities that are usually associated with the public sector are taken over by private enterprises.
Netanyahu pledged to make deregulation a primary focus of his government in hopes that it will spur economic growth. Netanyahu’s distinctly market-oriented talk signals a possible return to the neo-liberal economic policies he pursued as Finance Minister from 2003-2005.
The fiscal reforms implemented during his tenure are largely credited with bringing the Israeli economy out of a recession and kicking off more than a decade of growth.