A leading report in Israel news paper state that Israel invites fres money into the country to forge new research in the field of biomedical, nano technology, defense and agriculture. As big banks set up their centers, Israel could become the center of new capital and money flows thus helping the world to take notice of this small nation. It may just be time for Israel to start taking the world lime light and ultimately to become a stumbling block to the whole world.“In that day I will make Jerusalem a stumbling block for all people; all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth gather against it.” (Zechariah 12:3)
The Israel News paper notes:
A new Israeli initiative is attempting to convince international banks to set up research & development centers in Israel by having the country pay part of the employees’ salaries.
In an interview he gave to Bloomberg on Monday, Finance Ministry Director General Haim Shani said that Israel’s government will pay as much as 50 percent of the workers’ wages at the banks’ R&D units for up to five years. The amount of payment by the government will vary depending on whether the center is based in the central part of Israel or in the periphery, as well as on the level of salary.
The reason for the initiative, explained Shani, is that “We want to attract large financial services companies, particularly big banks. It will make part of their competitive advantage in the years to come.”
Shani is currently conducting meetings with officials at US financial companies. Several months ago he conducted meetings in the UK.
The economic news out of Israel has been positive despite hard economic times for many other countries during the recent recession. This past May, Israel was accepted into the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and it was also recently announced that Jerusalem was chosen as the venue for the annual OECD conference in October. Tourism ministers from the 31 countries in the OECD will attend the meeting which will be attended by President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer.
Israel has also historically invested in research. In 2008, for example, the country spent 4.9 percent of its GDP on R&D.
Israel, being the greatest per capita producer of technology in the world, wants to capitalize on this industry. The country is already home to R&D centers for companies such as Intel, IBM, Motorola, Cisco and Hewlett-Packard. Approximately 35,000 Israelis are employed in R&D. Technology exports from Israel rose an annualized 68 percent in the first 11 months in 2009.
According to a recent forecast by Israel’s Finance Ministry, the country’s economy will grow by 3.6 percent this year, according to a June 6 Finance Ministry forecast, and by 3.8 percent next year.
Shani’s initiative is, in fact, about much more than just bringing more R&D to Israel. He also hopes that if his proposed program is successful, it will result in more new immigrants being lured to the country and reverse brain drain.. “We know there are people who would like to return or make aliyah,” he said. “It’s part of a larger strategy of bringing minds back to Israel.”
This comes at a time when Israel is negotiating with Tony Blair led World Quartet Nations of US,UN EU and Russsia for a peace settlement with Palestine.