As every month, VC Cafe is re-posting the “Invest in Israel” Newsletter, published by the investment promotion center of Israel’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, which offers many helpful tools for prospecting investors. See the May 2011 edition after the jump. For previous editions, click here.
ISRAELI ECONOMY GROWS 4.7% IN Q1
Israel’s economy grew 4.7% in the first quarter of 2011, supported by growth in consumer spending and exports. Consumer spending increased 6.8%, while exports of goods and services climbed 16% and imports rose 15.9%.
The growth in GDP follows a 7.6% rise in the last quarter of 2010 and a 4.8% increase in the third quarter. In April, the Bank of Israel raised its 2011 growth forecast to 4.5% from 3.8%.
IMD RANKS ISRAEL 17TH MOST COMPETITIVE ECONOMY IN 2011
The International Institute of Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland, in its 2011 World Competitiveness Yearbook ranked Israel in the 17th place among the world’s 59 leading economies in terms of competitiveness. Israel was also ranked 17th in 2010.
The Israeli economy remained first in the world in total expenditures of R&D as a percentage of GDP and was also ranked first in entrepreneurship, central bank policy and scientific research. In terms of access to venture capital, Israel was rated 2nd in the world.
ISRAELI UNEMPLOYMENT DROPS TO 5.8%
Israel’s unemployment figure dropped by about 2 percent as 60,000 job seekers found employment over the past two years. With only 185,000 people out of work, Israel’s unemployment figure is near an all-time low.
The majority of the unemployed were absorbed by the high-tech sector. Due to rapid growth of the Israeli market, and of the high-tech, industrial and construction sectors in particular, a further drop in unemployment is expected in coming months.
BROADCOM BUYS ISRAELI SECURITY SOFTWARE DEVELOPER SC SQUARE
“With SC Square Ltd., Broadcom is acquiring an expert team of engineers focused on security” – BroadcomConsumer device chip maker Broadcom has acquired Tel Aviv-based security software maker SC Square for $42 million.
SC Square is Broadcom’s ninth acquisition in Israel. Since October 2010, the company acquired semiconductor developer Provigent for $340 million in March 2011, image processing company Sightic Vista for $15 million in November 2010, and Percello Ltd. for about $98 million in October 2010.
Broadcom employs hundreds of Israeli employees in eight centers around the country in Airport City, Herzliyah, Netanya, Or Yehuda, Park Yakum, Ra’anana, Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv. Broadcom provides system-on-a-chip and embedded software solutions to manufacturers of computing and networking equipment, digital entertainment and broadband access products, and mobile devices.
ISRAEL’S TEVA ACQUIRES TAIYO, BECOMES LEADER IN JAPANESE GENERICS
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. is acquiring privately-held Taiyo Pharmaceutical Industry, Japan’s third largest generic pharmaceutical company for $460 million.
Taiyo has one of the most comprehensive generic product portfolios in the Japanese market and has a strong presence in all major distribution channels in Japan.
Japan is the second largest pharmaceutical market in the world, valued at $96 billion in 2010. The Japanese government has expressed its intention to increase generic penetration to 30% by 2012. Teva is is headquartered in Israel and is the world’s largest generic drug maker with a direct presence in about 60 countries.
LIMELIGHT BUYS TEL AVIV STARTUP ACCELOWEB
Limelight Networks Inc. acquired AcceloWeb Ltd., a provider of technology that helps speed the presentation of websites and applications, for about $20-30 million.
AcceloWeb, which builds Internet scale software that improves end-user experiences on the Internet, is headquartered in Israel with US offices in Boston.
Limelight Networks, Inc. is a provider of content delivery network services for media companies, online businesses and organizations operating e-commerce storefronts or a Website.
ISRAELI DIRECTOR WINS BEST SCREENPLAY AT CANNES
Israeli director Joseph Cedar won the best screenplay award at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday for his film “Footnote.”
“Footnote” tells the story of a rivalry between a father and a son who are both Talmudic scholars. Cedar’s previous film Beaufort was nominated for an Oscar in 2007 and won the Silver Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival in 2007.
Sony Classics bought the rights to distribute the film internationally