The debt of foreign countries to Israel stands at USD 23 billion, almost double last year's debt of USD 12 billion, Bank of Israel data revealed.
According to the Bank's statistics, the Israeli economy, which until recently only borrowed money from states abroad, has since 2002 turned
into a lender as well, Israel's leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Tuesday.
As of today, the world owes the private sector in Israel USD 22.7 billion. The Bank of Israel explained that the Israeli market has attracted investments from abroad during the last year, mainly due to the profitability of the private sector, the reduction in the government's deficit and the acceleration of privatization processes in the economy.
The improvement in the security situation in the country has also contributed to this rise.
Meanwhile, the public sector in Israel, mainly the government, continues to borrow money in foreign markets, in order to reprocess existing debts and fund the deficit in the national budget.
According to the Bank's data, Israel's external debt has reduced by a mere USD 250 million in 2005, and totaled USD 75.5 billion.
Israel's financial obligations abroad, after a deduction of the country's assets overseas, totaled USD 35 billion in December 2005.