Bennett promises to cut red tape to fight brain drain

Economy and Trade Minister promises group of Russian-speaking entrepreneurs to reduce bureaucracy in order to stem emigration of talented Israelis.

August 9, 2013 02:19
1 minute read.
Russian-speaking entrepreneurs prepare to meet with Naftali Bennett.

Russian-speaking entrepreneurs meeting Bennett 370. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett promised a group of 20 Russian-speaking entrepreneurs to cut red tape in order to stem emigration of talented Israelis.

“We have a serious problem of quality brain drain from Israel. A significant portion return to their former countries to build businesses there instead of developing them in Israel, and that is very sad,” Bennett said on Wednesday night. “We have to act against brain drain from Israel and emigration to the former Soviet states.”

Turning to the entrepreneurs, Bennett asked what they saw as the biggest problem. One after another pointed to bureaucracy.

“Sometimes the problems are the small things, the regulation and the bureaucratic process that cause people to give up,” said Latya Goldstein, CEO of Evolita. “We don’t need much because we came to work and we’re not afraid to, but it’s important for us to have support and understanding of exactly what the entrepreneurial sector needs.”

Levi Raiz, founder of the Jerusalem Startup Hub, said that new immigrants, in particular, had trouble navigating all the institutions, which disrupts “amazing initiatives.”

Bennett agreed that there was “great importance in aiding businesses and entrepreneurs that are forced to deal with the government bureaucracy,” and said the ministry was already pushing through reforms in the Knesset.

Israel ranks 38th in the World Bank’s 2013 Doing Business list, which ranks the ease of starting up a company and the difficulties imposed by regulatory burden. In 2012, Israel ranked 36th.

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