The top four industries in Israel are technology, tourism, mining and manufacturing, and transportation. Israel’s technology industry has been well publicized internationally and is growing faster than any other industry in the country. According to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, high-tech industries (as a whole) is growing at roughly 8 percent per year, while 4.9 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product is spent on high-tech industries. This is the highest among all countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In 2006, high-tech industries accounted for roughly 70 percent of Israel’s industrial production. Despite its small population (relative to the other industrialized countries across the world), Israel has the largest number of scientists and engineers per capita globally with 140 scientists/technicians/engineers per 10,000 employees. While the US and Japan have 85 and 83 per 10,000 employees respectively.
Israel’s tourism industry is one of its major sources of income. In terms of employment, the tourism industry in Israel is quite large, employing over 200,000 people (which is about 6% of Israel’s workforce). Israel had a record 3.6 million tourist arrivals in 2017, yielding a 25 percent growth since 2016 and contributed NIS 20 billion to the Israeli economy which is a record. The most visited city in Israel is Jerusalem. Jerusalem receives roughly 3.4 million tourists annually. Jerusalem holds profound significance in all three of the world’s major religions and contains many historical, archaeological, and religiously significant attractions that any tourist can enjoy. The largest percentage of tourists come from the US, which is roughly 19% of all tourists, followed by Russia, France, Germany, and the UK. Israel’s tourism industry’s growth is showing no signs of slowing down.
While Israel’s technology industries are getting most of the attention, Israel also has robust mining and manufacturing sectors. Potassium nitrate and phosphoric acid are the two major exports from a plant in Haifa, while oil pipelines run to the Mediterranean Sea as well. Manufacturing is primarily high-tech right now, with educated employees critical for this sector’s growth. When it comes to diamond cutting and polishing, Tel Aviv plays host to the largest such industry in the world. Israel’s manufacturing industry is also developing new innovative products and solutions such as more effective diamond cutting, diamond polishing, aviation and space products, pharmaceuticals, circular saws for left handed people, solar power, food processing, among many others. As of 2016, cut diamonds were Israel’s largest export product, comprising 28% of all exports.
Israel’s transportation industry is now bearing the fruits of the steady investments made in this sector over the years. Israel has three deep-water ports (two in the Mediterranean Sea and one in the Red Sea). Those ports provide Israel with access to both the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Air transport has also helped play a large role in the export of high-value goods from the high-tech sector and has aided the growth of the tech sector according to economist’s competitive analysis. Israel’s transportation sector relies primarily on gasoline and diesel fuel, while most of its electricity production is generated with imported coal.
In conclusion, Israel’s four primary industries (technology, tourism, mining and manufacturing, and transportation) are all showing signs of consistent growth during the past few years, and this trend will likely continue in the future.