JERUSALEM (Sep. 4)
Government officials, worried over the decline of foreign investments in Israel, have urged a newly appointed high-level economic committee to focus its attention on that problem before tackling other matters. The committee was recently appointed by Commerce and Industry Minister Haim Barlev to advise on future industrial investments in the country.
But Ministry officials said today that the foreign investment slowdown is too urgent to be ignored. They noted that while investments in existing plants have doubled from $74 million to $150 million, approvals for the creation of new plants, an index to foreign investments, have dropped from $144 million to $78 million. “Not only are new projects lacking,” one official said, “but there is a dearth of new ideas.”
He noted that prior to 1967 investments were aimed at “export at any price” and after the Six-Day War the emphasis was on war industries. Recently there has been some stress on science-based industries “but in the last two years there seems to be no clear direction,” the official said.