Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Following the figure published last week by the Central Bureau of Statistics showing signs of a slowdown in growth and a drop in exports, Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon on Sunday summoned senior officials in his ministry to a meeting in his office, together with Manufacturers of Israel Association president Shraga Brosh and Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute chairman Ramzi Gabbay.
Kahlon said, "The figures showing a drop in growth worry me, both as Minister of Finance and as an Israeli. As a great believer in Israeli industry, I intend to act to strengthen and develop industry in Israel, and make things easier for industrialists in places where regulation makes things difficult. I'm confident that the Ministry of Finance's measures in support of exports, together with creating a stable work environment and long-term certainty, will achieve results."
Brosh added, "The main reason for the slowdown in growth in recent years has been weakness in industrial exports. Industry's growth engine has lost steam, and a dangerous downtrend in the establishment of new enterprises in Israel has emerged. We have to bolster competitiveness in Israeli industry, increase productivity, and create the world's best tax environment for industrialists. In addition, the burden of regulation and bureaucracy must be fundamentally reduced, and new investments in industry encouraged."
Kahlon and Brosh agreed on the assembling of a joint team to formulate a general program for strengthening industry in Israel. This action comes on top of the meeting summoned last week by the Minister of Finance, in which he ordered his ministerial department heads to provide him with an analysis for the reasons for the fall in private consumption and recommendations for increasing exports and generating growth engines.
The background for the discussion is Central Bureau of Statistics figures for the first half and second quarter of 2015 showing, among other things, that investments in fixed assets, which exert a major effect on economic growth, fell in the first half of the year.