Initiative launched to move factories to periphery

The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Trade was expected to launch on Tuesday a new initiative aimed at moving factories from Israel's central region to the periphery. The move would benefit residents of southern development towns such as Ofakim and Yeroham that have long suffered from high unemployment rates. The factories themselves would also gain from the initiative, as the government was to pay for the planning, development, and transport of the plants, as well as provide them with lands and tax benefits. According to the new plan, a giant industrial zone was expected to be set up in the Negev within a few years, Army Radio reported.