State of Israel is a parliamentary democracy located in the Middle East. The formal head of state is the president, who is elected by the legislature for a seven-year period, but his powers are largely ceremonial. Executive power is exercised by the prime-minister, who forms the government and is usually the leader of the party that controls the majority in the Knesset, a 120-seat unicameral parliament. Israel ranks as 55th largest economy in the world (by GDP PPP) and is 53rd by GDP per capita. Around 62% of Israel’s merchandise exports are directed to just three markets (United States, European Union and Hong Kong). Total external trade volume is just under 30% of GDP. Israel generally runs a merchandise trade deficit, although the start of natural gas production has reduced reliance on energy imports. The central bank, Bank of Israel (BoI) pursues an inflation-targeting approach to monetary policy and maintains a floating exchange rate regime. Economic weaknesses include: regional instability and security concerns, economic dependence on the U.S. and high short-term external debt.