The following is the joint statement on the U.S. – Israel Joint Economic Development Group:
On November 15, the United States and Israeli officials gathered in Jerusalem to participate in the 37th forum of the U.S. – Israel Joint Economic Development Group (JEDG), the annual economic policy dialogue between the two nations, first held in 1985. This year’s meeting, the first to be held in person since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, was highlighted by the establishment of four new working groups focusing on: environmental technologies; strategic regional projects; digital assets; and foreign investment screening.
The U.S. delegation was led by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs, Whitney Baird, and included the Deputy Chief of Mission – U.S. Embassy in Israel, Stephanie Hallett; Counselor to the Secretary of the Treasury, Brent Neiman; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, Hady Amr; as well as other officials from the State Department, Department of the Treasury, Department of Energy and Department of Agriculture.
The Israeli delegation was headed by the Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Finance, Ram Belinkov, and included the Chief Economist – Director of State Revenues, Research and International Affairs, Shira Greenberg; Noach Hacker, Minister for Economic Affairs at the Israeli Embassy in Washington; and other representatives from the Ministries of Finance and Foreign Affairs, as well as the Bank of Israel and the Israel Innovation Authority.
During the forum, both sides expressed satisfaction over the trajectory of bilateral economic relations and underscored respective commitments to expanding and deepening policy coordination and collaboration across a broad range of sectors. The forum’s plenary session included macroeconomic overviews of the U.S. and Israeli economies, in addition to presentations by the Israel Innovation Authority on enhancing collaborative innovation and by the Ministry of Finance on the recently signed U.S. – Israel cyber-finance cooperation agreement.
The newly formed working groups, who will continue their dialogues throughout the coming year, focused topics of mutual importance to both the U.S. and Israeli economies, including strategic regional projects to increase trade and connectivity; regulation of digital assets; and cooperation in the fields of water, energy and agricultural technologies. Of particular note, the Israeli Ministry of Finance and the U.S. Department of the Treasury welcomed the decision to begin the negotiation of an updated tax treaty in the first quarter of 2023.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Baird underscored the “strength and durability of U.S. – Israeli relations,” expressing her “appreciation for the JEDG and its ability to deepen economic relations in several areas,” including environmental technology, regional cooperation and cutting-edge areas like cryptocurrency.
In his remarks, Director General Belinkov noted that, “this year’s forum will lay the groundwork for strategic projects and engagements to be initiated jointly over the years to come.” Chief Economist, Shira Greenberg, declared “the 37th meeting of this forum represents a timely opportunity to discuss approaches to today’s economic challenges and determine together how we can continue to leverage our strategic relationship for the benefit of both our populations.”