As the prospects for foreign investment growth rise, Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai met Tuesday with two of the most recent investors in the country and pledged to make Israel a more attractive destination for such funding.
"In light of the many requests we've received from investors, in particular foreign investors, we have no choice but to increase the budget of the Investment Center in a meaningful way in order to be an attractive alternative for them," Yishai said.
His comments come after William Davidson, chief executive officer of Guardian Industries Corp., announced plans to invest $50 million to build a plant for making glass used in solar power generation to meet growing worldwide demand for alternative energy.
The plant, located in the northern Israeli town of Tzipori, will be owned and operated by Phoenicia America Israel (Flat Glass), an Israeli glassmaker Davidson acquired about 18 years ago. Davidson will spread the investment over three years, by which time the plant will be at full capacity, employing 340 people, with sales of $120m. Most of the output will be for export.
Meanwhile, following his meeting with VeriFone Holdings Chairman and CEO Douglas Bergeron, Yishai said the company was considering moving its research and development operations to Israel, which would create 1,000 jobs in the country.
Bergeron was in the country to prepare for the closing of VeriFone's $800m. acquisition of Rosh Ha'ayin-based Lipman Electronic Engineering.
"The combined company will benefit greatly from Lipman's world class manufacturing and R&D capabilities in Israel, and we plan to invest in this segment of our business to ensure its continued success going forward," Bergeron said.