Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett..
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
As part of a plan to make the Negev bloom and turn Beersheba into an international cyber security hub, the Economy Ministry will unveil in the coming days an outline for NIS 60 million in subsidies for companies to open shop there.
“We are working with the National Cyber Bureau and the Prime Minister’s Office to expedite the process and will work to promote the issue and remove barriers,” Economy Ministry director-general Amit Lang said on Tuesday, at an event at the hi-tech cyber security park in Beersheba, dubbed “Cyber Spark.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu unveiled the park in January, and the National Cyber Bureau and the chief scientist’s office budgeted NIS 80m., over two years, to support Israeli companies in the field. The government lowered taxes at the park to the cheapest in the country.
Already, big companies such as Lockheed Martin, IBM, Cisco, Deutsche Telecom and HP have announced investments in the park.
Speaking at the event on Tuesday, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said the park, and the Negev in general, offered “one of the biggest opportunities in the Middle East.”
“I’m not a great believer in government intervention, but in this regard, there is great importance to this kind of intervention in order to create the ecosystem needed to attract international companies to come here,” he said.
The Economy and Finance ministries would push as hard as possible to remove obstacles and smooth the process along, he said.
Beersheba Mayor Reuven “Rubik” Danilovitch said that, for once, the talk of promoting the country’s periphery was not just talk.
“The State of Israel has been talking for years about advancing the Negev and the Galilee, but this park is not more talk, but proof,” he said.