Gov’t to expand Noam Industrial Park

Project is expected to create 1,000 jobs for the Negev region.

By SHARON WROBEL
December 20, 2010 06:40
2 minute read.
GREEN GROUP hopes to make the desert bloom.

Negev 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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The Finance Ministry together with the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry approved the marketing and development of an additional 300 dunams of land to expand the Noam Industrial Park and create 1,000 jobs in the Negev as part of the government’s efforts to boost employment opportunities in the periphery.

“We are putting great importance on advancing industry and employment in Israel and in particular in the periphery,” said Industry, Trade and Labor Minister, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer. “As part of a strategic program, the government is taking a number of steps to improve the employment situation and maximize the growth potential in peripheral areas by trying to bring factories to the north and the south of the country. I call upon industrialists to consider the attractive option of moving their factories.”

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The additional 300-dunam section allocated to the park is situated between the western Negev towns of Sedot Negev, Netivot, Merhavim and Ofakim, and is an extension to the 300-dunam plot marketed a few years ago that now hosts a number of factories – such as Tara – and has created 1,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, the two ministries have agreed to establish a pilot-program that will prioritize a shared industrial area of a number of authorities in the north and the south through the provision of preferred conditions such as special benefits to the area, training support for workers and cost assistance in the establishment of factories.

In order to finance the development of the industry in the periphery, it was agreed to allocate a budget addition of NIS 60 million in the next two years with the aim of boosting the supply of jobs in these areas through the establishment and expansion of factories. Furthermore, another NIS 260m. will be added to the budget of the Chief Scientists’ Office in 2010 in support of increased encouragement of research and development activity and the creation of jobs in technologyrelated areas.

Back in August, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz unveiled a multi-year plan to support Israel’s hi-tech industry and encourage the growth of large companies.

To help start-ups survive, the plan gives tax incentives for investing in fledgling R&D companies.

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The government seeks to kick-start the potential of technology for financial services, which Israeli industry has not yet tapped into. In an effort to boost R&D activity for the financial market, the government will offer incentives to international financial services companies that want to establish R&D centers in Israel in general and in the periphery in particular.

The plan also includes tax benefits to encourage the growth of medium- and large-sized Israeli companies through acquisitions of smaller organizations. Companies that buy smaller firms or merge will enjoy tax benefits for five years. The plan offers tax breaks on capital gains to encourage local hitech companies to grow into multinationals rather than be sold early, and so that their shareholders will hold onto their shares.

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