Israel, along with Russia, Estonia, Slovenia and Chile was invited Wednesday to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
"The OECD's invitation is a reflection of Israel's firm economic standing in the world, and will further our integration with the world's economies," said Bank of Israel governor Stanley Fischer.
"The OECD has decided to invite Israel, Russia, Estonia, Slovenia and Chile to join in the process of becoming OECD members," said
Negotiations and the necessary screening process required for Israel to fully join the organization may take up to a year, since it involves a series of evaluations as to the prospective country's ability to meet the OECD's standards in various political and financial aspects.
''The process of globalization is inexorable,'' OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria said in a statement Wednesday. ''The OECD has an important role to play. Its analysis and policy advice has helped o shape the world economy.''
Gurria went on to say that no time frame has been set for the negotiations, and that there is no guarantee that this year's five nominees will indeed join the organization. The last time new countries joined the OECD was in 2002, when Slovakia became its newest member.
"There is no doubt that a full membership in the OECD will give Israel's economy the same status as that of some of the world's most advanced economies," said President of the Israeli Chamber of Commerce Uriel Linn.
Following the announcement, the foreign relations office in the Finance Ministry launched a new website, on future Israeli activities in the OECD.
AP contributed to this report