North seeks multinationals

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor is offering lucrative grants in an effort to lure international companies into opening research and development centers in the North.

By SHARON WROBEL
November 14, 2006 06:54
1 minute read.

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor is offering lucrative grants in an effort to lure international companies into opening research and development centers in the North. "At this moment, we want to see if there is interest from international companies, who already have an R&D center in Israel or those from the outside, who would be prepared to establish a center in the North rather than elsewhere in the country," said Itay Yecheskiel, an economist at the Israel Investment Center, a department of the ministry. "Depending on the proposals we receive there will be a decision over the budget of the program and the tender process." The Israel Investment Center has called for proposals from international companies to establish R&D centers in the North to be received until November 30 as part of the government's program to strengthen Haifa and the North after the war. Under the terms of the incentive program, international companies will be granted up to 15 percent of the average monthly labor costs of an employee for the five-year period. The cost of the average monthly salary will not be over NIS 25,000 and will not be below NIS 6,750. The Israel Investment Center is hoping to receive proposals from companies who will erect R&D centers employing hundreds of experts in an effort to contribute to a significant change in the development and progress of the North as a whole. Separately, the Israel Manufacturers' Association announced the establishment of a special committee on the lessons learned from the war in the Lebanon and the preparedness of the industry and the business sector for the "next war." The committee soon will present its recommendations for preparing the industry and the business sector to operate in full capacity in times of uncertainty, such as at a time of war. According to a survey conducted by the association, 42% of the factories across the country helped factories in the North before and after the war by canceling or delaying payments. About 87% of the factories gave donations to factories in the North, while 24% gave financial assistance, 39% donated food, 37% provided equipment and 34% helped in finding accommodation for displaced residents.


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