(Communicated by the Office of the President)
President Shimon Peres, on Friday afternoon, 8 March 2013, held a working meeting with OECD Angel Gurría, at the organization's headquarters in Paris and presented a new economic initiative to create an international body made up of global companies to invest in the Middle East and developing world. According to the proposed initiative, the international body will bring together leading global companies and will assist in the progress and economic development of Middle Eastern countries.
President Peres said that the main problems in the Middle East are instability, terrorism and unemployment and that the initiative will provide a solution for the issues of hunger and unemployment in the region. The new organization will provide a coordinating mechanism which, through the global companies, will put in place projects for economic investment and development, building of infrastructure and new technologies in the Middle East and developing countries.
President Peres stressed that, "The State of Israel is an example of the fact that the key to prosperity and economic independence is not natural resources but investment in technology and hi-tech. Israel will continue to share the knowledge it has gained in the fields of technology, renewable energy and agriculture and continue to lead within the OECD new international initiatives which will provide solutions for the Middle East and developing countries in the fields of technology, infrastructure, communication and healthcare."
In that regard President Peres added that developing countries and the countries of the Middle East face significant challenges including high unemployment, hunger and poverty. With the business ability of the global companies and new technologies, including Israeli technology, it will be possible to create hi-tech incubators in those countries that need which will develop the local economy especially in light of the political and budgetary challenges being faced by governments and the potential positive impact of global companies.
The Secretary-General of the OECD said to President Peres that Israel has made a significant contribution to the OECD, "Israel has become an important contributor to the OECD's work. Its knowledge on key areas for the viability of our economies, like water management, “clean-techs” and entrepreneurship, is becoming a source of best practices."
Following their meeting the two presented the initiative to the senior forum of the OECD which included hundreds of representatives of global companies and senior leaders of the OECD.