With its estimated 8.5 million inhabitants and a GDP of approximately 305 billon USD, Israel is one of the most prosperous democratic states in the Middle East with a working rule of law and welfare system. Moreover, Israel remains one of the most important trading partners for western Europe. Nevertheless, the annual population growth rate of 1.6 % and the proportion of the population living below the poverty lines stands at 22 %, which poses substantial social and structural challenges.
Since its founding as a state in 1948, Israel has made huge improvements from being an agrarian economy with socialist policies to a more market-oriented, diversified and industrialized high tech country. In comparison to other countries, Israel overcame the financial crisis of 2008/2009 virtually unscathed. With its most important trading partners being located in Europe, the USA and China, Israel’s export-orientated economy is global. Though the USA is the most important trading partner for Israel, the demand for German imports has risen in recent decades. In the area of the conurbations Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem, modern service and high-tech centers with famous and global companies emerged. Moreover, Israel owns substantial oil and gas deposits in the Mediterranean regions in the north and south of the country are the other side of Israel. These regions are characterized by high performance agriculture and smaller industrial companies. Thanks to its representative office, Bavaria is especially well networked in the region in and around Tel Aviv.