Manufacturers promoting transfer of 60 factories to Negev

Manufacturers promoting transfer of 60 factories to Negev
Globes - August 11, 2005
by Hadas Manor

Marketing has already begun, before approval of the plan. NIS 200 million has already been invested in developing so-far unused infrastructure.

Sources inform "Globes" that the Manufacturers Association of Israel has established an authority to begin marketing a project to move to the Negev 60 of the 500 industrial enterprises currently active in the central region. At the same time, the Manufacturers Association has submitted to Minister of Industry, Trade, and Labor Ehud Olmert the final plan to transfer plants to the Negev, and has begun marketing the plan, even though the Ministry of Finance has not yet agreed to finance it.

The plan envisions a total NIS 1 billion investment in transferring factories to the Noam industrial zone, close to Sderot. NIS 200 million will be government investment, of which half has already been invested in developing land and infrastructure in the Noam industrial zone. Most of this infrastructure is not being used.

The rest of the investment will finance companies and plants. The plan includes moving 60 factories in the first stage. The Manufacturers Association will finish coordinating and selection of requests by the end of 2005. Construction on the site is slated to begin in early 2006.

Manufacturers Association president Shraga Brosh told "Globes" that under plan, moving the plants would be completed 12-18 months after construction, and create 10,000 jobs in the Negev: 5,000 at the plants being moved and 5,000 in accompanying services and subcontractors.

Brosh said that under the plan, at least half of the employees of the plants in the central region that will be closed down will be moved to the new Negev plants.