The third annual survey of Israeli multinational enterprises (MNEs) is being released today. It was conducted by a joint team composed of the Manufacturers Association of Israel, Tel Aviv University, Hebrew University, and the Vale-Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment (VCC), a joint undertaking of the Columbia Law School and The Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York. The survey is part of a long-term, multi-country study of the rapid global expansion of multinational enterprises (MNEs) from emerging markets. The results released today cover the year 2008.

In 2008, Israel's top 25 MNEs – ranked by their foreign assets – had over USD 18 billion in foreign assets (table 1), about USD 40 billion in foreign sales (including exports), and employed nearly 93,000 persons abroad. Five firms: Israel Corporation, Elco Holdings, Teva, Amdocs and Ormat together accounted for three-quarters of the total foreign assets of the top 25.

An important clarification is in order. The leading 25 Israeli multinational firms listed in this report consist of public firms whose shares are quoted on one or more stock exchanges. A number of other (mainly private) multinational firms very likely to belong to this group have had to be excluded because complete information on their activities was unavailable.

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