NEW YORK (Oct. 3)
A gathering of 2,000 business men and women attending the 25th annual meeting of AMPAL-American Israel Corporation was told that Israel’s economy has reached “a new phase.” In an address prepared by Pinhas Sapir, Israel’s Minister of Finance, and read by Michael Arnon, Israel’s Consul-General in New York, it was noted that Israel has passed from an economy geared only to meet the basic necessities of its people to one in which the goal is “long term, widespread, intense development of our industrial sector, in order to improve our balance of payments situation.”
Mr. Sapir, whose plane developed engine trouble en route to New York for the meeting, observed in his statement that AMPAL and its affiliates, known jointly as the AMPAL Group, can help to meet this goal by providing private equity capital for Israel’s industrial growth. The AMPAL Group, which has loans and investments in over 70 varied Israel enterprises, probably is the biggest foreign investor in Israel.
“Investment in Israel is no longer a program for the few with great means or with special business ties with our country, ” the statement noted, observing that investments in the AMPAL Group have proven of benefit to its investors as well as to Israel, AMPAL and its affiliate, Israel Development Corporation, both New York companies, have paid to their shareholders annual cash dividends since formation while channeling in excess of $475 million into varied Israeli enterprises.
The meeting paid special tribute to AMPAL’s president, Abraham Dickenstein, who founded the organization here in 1941 with initial capital of $1,500. Today, assets of the AMPAL Group exceed $80,000,000. Mr. Dickenstein revealed that AMPAL and IDC have completed negotiations for investments and loans in Israel totaling over $12,000,000 in the coming year.