Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai has set up an advisory committee in an effort to support and help the traditional industries to become competitive players in the global market. "The first target on the agenda of the committee is to identify and build a framework of the competitive advantages for the traditional industries on the global market and the steps that need to be taken to reach the target," said Yishai. "Our aim is to strengthen the economic and social indicators in the Israeli society and to determine a socioeconomic policy for the short- and long-term." The new committee, which was established to further economic and social issues, comprises senior members from a variety of fields in the industry, academia and society. Members include the outgoing CEO of Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries, Israel Makov; Iscar's Eitan Wertheimer; Yoram Gabbai; Aharon Fogel, chairman of Migdal Insurance; Prof. Moshe Kaveh, president of the Bar-Ilan University; and Yochanan Stasman, former director-general of the National Insurance Institute. Makov is a strong promoter of traditional industry. "The State should support the traditional, not the hi-tech, industries. The major hi-tech companies can make it on their own," Makov said recently at the annual meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Israel. In the first instance, the committee will deal with strengthening the technology advancement of the traditional industries, which is expected to help close the social gaps; professional training and small businesses. In addition, the committee will discuss the obstacles and failures within the traditional industries and the justification of the involvement of the government in removing those obstacles. The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor will put together a policy proposal including a work plan for upgrading the traditional industries.