In an effort to boost local manufacturing, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor and the Manufacturers Association signed an agreement with the Ministry of Finance on Monday, agreeing to provide assistance to Israeli companies who complain of discrimination in government and public tenders. In recent years the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor and the Manufacturers Association have received many complaints by companies who say they are unable to bid for tenders. For the most part, the complainers' products match the imported goods in quality and price, but they are unable to enter bids because of stringent prerequisites like years of experience, market share and other technical requirements. The three agencies agreed that over the next few months the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor and the Manufacturers Association would pass on complaints of discrimination by companies to the Government Purchasing Operations Division. Meanwhile, they will inform companies of the option to file formal complaints. According to Tzvia Dori, director of the ministry's domestic trade administration, there is an attitude prevalent among some in the commercial sector that Israeli products are inherently inferior, and due to such considerations of prestige or buyers' desire to go to other countries, Israeli companies are discriminated against when it comes to tenders. "Right now we only receive a few dozen complaints a year, but be sure that if the positions are manned and the public becomes aware of them, the rate of complaints will rise," said Dori. The Manufacturers Association distributed among its members copies of a treaty committing them to give preference to locally manufactured products. Among the clauses are a commitment that in every case where multiple estimates are required, at least one estimate must be given by an Israeli manufacturer; an appointed "blue and white trustee" must be responsible for purchasing Israeli-made goods and increasing awareness of the value of locally manufactured goods; and a personal commitment to spread the word among friends and family that buying foreign made goods leads to unemployment, factory closure and market diminishing. "Now more than ever we are acting to give preference to Israeli-made products in order to promote local industry and out of the understanding that purchasing goods and services made in Israel plays a big role in strengthening it. In this way we will produce additional jobs, increase exports and growth, and support the Israeli market," said Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Binyamin Ben Eliezer.