The second 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 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 2007, although some information on 2008 is also provided.

In 2007, Israel's top 20 MNEs – ranked by foreign assets – had over USD 12 billion in foreign assets (table 1), over USD 26 billion in foreign sales (including exports), and employed nearly 68,000 persons abroad. Foreign assets, sales and employment had increased by 33%, 8% and 24%, respectively, since 2006 (table 2). Four firms, Israel Chemicals, Amdocs, Teva and Ormat, together accounted for 60% of the total foreign assets of the top 20.

An important clarification is in order. The report speaks of ‘the top 20’ for convenience. It is not, in fact, possible to be certain that the 20 companies listed in Table 1 below are the largest Israeli investors abroad. Data on all likely candidates, in particular on privately owned firms, was not available. What the researchers are certain of is that these 20 are very close to being the largest.

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