PM calls for tax measures to attract skilled expats

Netanyahu tells cabinet economic crisis facing Western nations presents opportunity for Israel to strengthen its workforce.

November 12, 2012 03:19
1 minute read.
Netanyahu at start of cabinet meeting

Netanyahu at start of cabinet meeting 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)


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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu instructed officials Sunday to examine potential tax benefits that could be used to entice skilled expatriates back to Israel.

Netanyahu told his cabinet that the economic crisis facing Western nations presents an opportunity for Israel to strengthen its own workforce by encouraging immigration and the return of former Israelis.

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Eugene Kendel, National Economic Council chairman, will lead the taskforce in which he will work with the directors-general of the Treasury and Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry to propose measures.

Israelis have returned to the country at a rate of 12,000 per year for the past five years, far exceeding the rate of 4,800 returnees per year from 2000 to 2007, according to data presented to the cabinet by Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver.

From May 2010 to September 2012, 29,679 Israeli expatriates returned to the country to live, one-third of them aged 18 or under.

Tel Aviv absorbed the most returning residents (3,227), followed by Jerusalem (2,724), Haifa (1,223), Ra’anana (1,023), and Netanya (895).

The US was by far the greatest source of returnees (14,133), followed by Canada (1,751), the UK (1,672), France (1,669), Russia (812), Australia (724), and Jordan (695).

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