Netanyahu: Israel-Intel partnership only ‘just begun’

The meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office follows chipmaker Intel’s annual high-level strategic meeting this week, an event bringing together all its senior management for the first time in Israel.

October 11, 2018 21:13
2 minute read.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with members of Intel in Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with members of Intel in Israel. (photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)


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The decades-long, multi-billion dollar collaboration between Israel and US tech giant Intel has only “just begun,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Intel interim chief executive Robert Swan and the company’s executive management team on Thursday in Jerusalem.

The meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office follows chipmaker Intel’s annual high-level strategic meeting this week, an event bringing together all its senior management, which took place for the first time in Israel.

Netanyahu told Swan that the company’s $38 billion investment in Israel “is an amazing investment with amazing results,” highlighting Intel’s many significant investments and acquisitions during decades of operations in the Israeli tech scene.

“Seven years ago I said that Israel would be a leading global power in cybersecurity – and that has happened. Now I’m saying Israel is and will be an even greater force in global technology of transportation. I think you know something about that,” Netanyahu said jokingly. “I think we are proving in our cooperation that the future belongs to those who innovate. Intel is an innovation company, Israel is the innovation nation. I think we have just begun.”

In a further demonstration of Intel’s proven interest in Israeli technology, Haifa’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology announced Tuesday that it would be collaborating with the company on its new artificial intelligence (AI) research center.

The latest collaboration follows years of strong relations between the Technion and Intel, which has employed many graduates at its development center in Haifa as engineers. Intel has previously collaborated with the Technion on AI matters as part of its Collaborative Research Institute for Computational Intelligence program.

“This is a very special year for Intel because it’s our 50th anniversary. Intel in Israel has been with us for virtually that whole time, having established our presence back in 1974,” Swan told Netanyahu.

“As Intel grows and Intel performs, Intel Israel has been a very important part of that, both in terms of innovation along the way, but also the collaboration with the government. Thank you for welcoming us with open arms so we can build the technologies here that we think are imperative for the future.”

In May, Intel announced that it would be expanding its production operations at its Kiryat Gat manufacturing plant in southern Israel. According to the Finance Ministry, Intel will invest NIS 18b. ($5b.) in the project, including NIS 3 million in sourcing products from local suppliers.

In return, Intel will benefit from an extension of its reduced 5% tax rate until 2027.

Last year, Intel acquired Israeli driving-assistance company Mobileye for approximately $15.3b. The purchase of the Jerusalem-based firm represents the largest sale, or “exit,” of an Israeli company to date.

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