Netanyahu gives business group more say on standards

The Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce on Sunday said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had agreed to expand their role in the Standards Institute, long a bastion of red tape in the Israeli government.
When Naftali Bennett was Economy Minister in 2013-2014, he railed against the institute for enforcing unnecessary regulations that differed from those in Europe, adding a significant burden for those who wanted to export to Israel. More recently, Netanyahu convened a ministerial panel on red tape that took aim at the institute.
"We are beginning the biggest battle against excess regulation in the state of Israel, against the excess bureaucracy. It is the consumers and the businesses in the state of Israel who will benefit from this," Netanyahu said in early March. Under Netanyahu's premiership, Israel's rank on indexes of business friendliness have slid, falling 23 spots on the World Bank's Doing Business index.
The FICC, one of Israel's largest business groups, had petitioned for greater representation in the institute's various organs, arguing that the trade and service companies it represents had grown as a share of the economy.
The original reason for creating the institute, he said, was to regulate the safety and standards of locally made products.
"This has become an anachronistic and outdated perspective, and does not reflect the present reality," Lynn said.
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