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The Economy Ministry, via its Investment Center, will invest NIS 33 million in subsidies of higher salaries for employees working for factories and companies located in national priority areas. An extra NIS 27 million will be invested in promoting high salary employment within the cyber industry. Total Economy Ministry in these two tracks: NIS 60 million.

Conditions for the financial assistance: at least 60% of new employees must reside in the national priority areas. The Economy Ministry expects that this financial aid will provide employment to graduates of academic institutions located throughout the priority areas (most of which are in the periphery), particularly in the fields of high tech, engineering, programming and other well-paid professions.

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett: " National priority areas in Israel represent one of the largest business opportunities in the Middle East today. There is great importance in government intervention, in order to create an appropriate ecosystem to attract leading international and Israeli companies that will set up the base of their operations in these areas."

Economy Ministry Director-General Amit Lang recently signed a directive that defines two additional tracks for assistance in employment in the national priority areas. The Director-General's directive, which aims to promote and develop the national priority areas and help recruit more employees into Israeli businesses (in accordance with government decisions 1272 and 546), will be published in the coming days as part of the Director-General's directive 4.18. The financial assistance will be distributed via the Ministry's Investment Center.

The track is aimed at companies and factories with an annual turnover higher than NIS 100 million (in the year prior to application), that are committed to establishing an initiative or business, expanding an existing factory in the national priority areas or relocating a factory to the national priority areas.

Within the cyber track, the company is also required to meet the definition "Cyber Company" and to establish or expand its activities in one or more "designated settlement" as described in the directive.

The conditions of this financial assistance: at least 60% of the new employees must reside in the national priority areas. Employers, who request salary subsidies within the tracks, are required to pay newly hired employees salaries that are 2.5 times higher than the average salary in Israel. Salary subsidies will decrease on a sliding scale each year - in the first year, up to 40% salary subsidy will be given within the cyber industry and up to 35% in the general track, whereas in the fourth year, salary subsidies will be reach 25% in the cyber program and 10% in the general track.

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett: "National priority areas across Israel – and particularly the Negev - represent one of the largest business opportunities in the Middle East today. I am not a big believer in government intervention although, in this regard, it is very important for the government to intervene so that an appropriate ecosystem can be created within these areas to attract leading international and Israeli companies. I believe that the factories and companies who will be attracted into these areas following government intervention will discover its huge potential."

Investment Center Director Nahum Itzkowitz: "The new tracks were created to assist in the recruitment of highly-paid employees while emphasizing on increasing the rate of growth and encouraging the creation of highly-paid positions within the national priority areas. We assist investors who are interested in establishing or expanding initiatives with highly paid employees in the national priority areas or in relocating a company or factory to these priority areas. The assistance is given via partial salary subsidies of highly-paid employees".

 

 

 

The opening day ceremony of the Stock Exchange took place on Wednesday, March 26, in Aviv University, in occasion of the National Science Day, with the presence of the Governor of the Central Bank of Israel, Dr. Karnit Flug, the Stock Exchange General Manager, Mr. Yossi Beinart, the Stock Exchange Chairman Substitute, Dr. Ron Malka, General Manager of the Science and Technology Ministry, lawyer Bina Bar-On, and Tel Aviv University President, Prof Joseph Klafter

The opening day ceremony of the Stock Exchange took place on Wednesday, March 26, in Aviv University, in occasion of the National Science Day, with the initiative of the Science and Technology Ministry

The event was opened by the Stock Exchange General Manager, Mr. Yossi Beinart, who said: "There is great importance in strengthening the connection between science, technology, industry and financial market. This connection contributes to the to the innovation processes that serve as important sources to advancement and economic growth. The encouragement of the connection between science, technology and industry enables developments that can serve as basis for implementable ideas in industry, for production that will improve the living conditions and to economic growth for the benefit of all. The financial and stock markets are significant factors in these processes".

The Tel Aviv University President, Prof Joseph Klafter, said: "The rising of awareness to science in this day can encourage youngsters to study different science disciplines. This science day will enable a glance to break-thru researches conducted in universities. The university is a huge start-up of creativity and innovative ideas". Prof Joseph Klafter also indicated that "science shapes all aspects of our lives, from security to medicine. We live in a fascinating period of accelerated scientific development, where technologies and scientific developments reach massive use with unprecedented speed".

The Governor of the Central Bank of Israel, Dr. Karnit Flug, surveyed the payment means in the market. She enumerated the layers that compose this "tubing" in the financial system, and explained the roles of the Central Bank in the regularization and protection of the payment and clearing systems. Then, she enumerated the different means of payment - the traditional ones, based on paper, and the new ones, based on technology - and described the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Dr. Flug then noted: "The Central Bank of Israel promoted reforms and steps intended to make the new means of payments easier and safer. Among these: development of a payment system for immediate clearing called Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS), joining to the CLS international system, payment system law and improvement of the different clearing systems. In addition, the Locker committee, which is expected to publish her conclusions soon, will encourage the increase of the use of electronic payment means".

 

Photo: Open University of Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Left to right: Exchange CEO, Mr. Yossi Beinart, CEO of the Ministry of Science Bina Bar - On, Governor of the Bank of Israel, Dr. Karnit Flug, president of Tel Aviv University, Prof. Joseph Klafter and Deputy Chairman Exchange Dr. Ron Malka 
Photo: Kobi Kantor
 
 

Israel – Russia:  11th Mixed Economic Committee to be convened in Moscow

Tomorrow, Monday 9 December 2013, the Israel-Russia Mixed Economic Committee will convene in Moscow. This will be the Committee’s 11th meeting. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liebermann will head the Israeli delegation, accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin. The Russian delegation will be headed by Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich.

The Mixed Committee, headed by the Foreign Minister, constitutes the highest level inter-ministerial forum for relations between Russia and Israel. The Committee discusses a number of diplomatic and economic issues of great interest and importance for both sides.

In the past four years, the Economic Committees met annually, alternating between Jerusalem and Moscow.

In the coming meeting discussions will address trade issues including a free trade agreement  with the trilateral customs union (Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus), customs issues regarding exports of fresh agricultural produce from Israel to Russia, cooperation in technologies and management of water resources, cooperation in the field of oil substitutes for transportation,  renewable energies,   relations between Russian and Israeli companies in the area of investments in natural gas, scientific cooperation, space, foreign trade insurance, and cooperation in tourism. The issue of signing a pensions agreement will also be addressed.

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in trade between Israel and Russian, reaching a current  $3 billion a year. A number of agreements will be signed at the end of the talks.

 

 

TOURISM MINISTRY INCLUDES GAZA PERIPHERY IN LIST OF AREAS ELIGIBLE FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE:
THE MINISTRY WILL GRANT NIS 1 MILLION TO SMALL TOURIST BUSINESSES AND TOURIST ACCOMMODATION IN THE REGION.

In total, the ministry will allocate NIS 8 million in 2014 to residents in the periphery for tourist business development and the establishment of tourist accommodation.
The grant for establishing tourist accommodation: up to 24%
The grant for small tourist businesses: up to 30%

Tourism Minister Dr. Uzi Landau: "Tourist accommodation and small businesses are the core of tourism in the periphery. The Tourism Ministry which I lead will continue to encourage an increase in supply and competition and will make investments that will strengthen tourism in the periphery, create new jobs and turn the Gaza periphery into an attractive tourism destination for domestic and international tourists."

Tourism Ministry Director-General Amir Halevy: " In recent years, the Tourism Ministry has invested hundreds of millions of shekel in creating a larger and more varied tourism product in the periphery for the benefit of the wider public and in order to create new jobs - investments that have brought billions of shekels into the economy."

The Tourism Ministry has published directives concerning grant allocations for the establishment of tourism accommodation and for small tourist businesses in the Gaza periphery, Negev, Nazareth, Acre, Druze and Circassian villages and in the villages that are located along the Gospel Trail.

In keeping with the directive, the ministry will give grants of up to 24% of the total investment for the establishment of accommodation units and grants of up to 30% for the establishment of small tourist businesses. The grants will be allocated according to the following procedures:

1. Assistance in the Gaza periphery and Negev areas in keeping with the policy of the Tourism Ministry and the government to promote development of the tourism product as a means of assisting and strengthening the economic infrastructure of the communities that are under security and economic threat.

2. Assistance for communities living alongside the Gospel Trail, Nazareth, Acre and the Druze and Circassian villages of Daliat al Carmel and Ussfiya in keeping with the government decisions as related to the multi-year program for economic development of communities in the minorities sector and advancing them in terms of employment and social issues in the field of tourism.

Grants for establishing tourist accommodation:

NIS 500,000 for entrepreneurs living in Daliat al Carmel and Ussfiya

NIS 500,000 for entrepreneurs living in Nazareth

NIS 1 million for entrepreneurs living in the Negev and Gaza periphery

NIS 1 million for entrepreneurs living in the Druze and Circassian villages

NIS 1 million for entrepreneurs living in Acre

NIS 500,000 for entrepreneurs living near the Gospel Trail

Grants for developing small tourist businesses:

NIS 500,000 for entrepreneurs living in Daliat al Carmel and Ussfiya

NIS 500,000 for entrepreneurs living in Nazareth

NIS 1 million for entrepreneurs living in the Negev and Gaza periphery

NIS 1 million for entrepreneurs living in the Druze and Circassian villages

NIS 500,000 for entrepreneurs living near the Gospel Trail

Requests for assistance to be filed by 1 March 2014 to the RuralTourism Division at the Tourism Ministry

 

 

 

FIRST COOPERATION OF ITS TYPE BETWEEN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THE TOURISM MINISTRY. THOUSANDS OF CATHOLICS CELEBRATE MASS ON INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FAITH AT MOUNT PRECIPICE, NAZARETH

 

The event, part of the concluding events of the Year of Faith declared last year by Pope Benedict XVI, was led by His Beatitude, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Tual and in the presence of the Tourism Minister Dr. Uzi Landau. Tourism Minister Dr. Uzi Landau: "We welcome you on this important day. Collaboration between the Catholic church and the Tourism Ministry is important for us."

Latin Patriarch: "Thank you for your presence and your efforts".

 

This morning, Sunday 17 November 2013, the International Day of Faith celebrations opened on Mount Precipice in Nazareth. The festive mass, attended by thousands of Catholic faithful from Israel, the region and around the world, was led by His Beatitude, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Tual in the presence of the Tourism Minister Dr. Uzi Landau. Also in attendance were His Beatiitude Archbishop Michel Sabbah, Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem for Latins and His Excellency, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, Apostolic Nuncio to Israel.

 

The celebrations in Nazareth, which will be followed next week (24 November 2013) by the closing event of the Year of Faith in the Vatican, were led by the Catholic Church with the assistance of the Tourism Ministry, in cooperation with the Ministry for the Development of the Gailee, Israel Police, the Nazareth Municipality, KKL-JNF and the Nazareth Association for Tourism and Culture. 

During the Mass, a letter from His Excellency Pope Francis was read: "The history of our faith finds its origins in the very land where you celebrate. Before we can understand our own personal history of faith nd our need for God's mercy, we must all turn to that place and time when Jesus himself walked among us"

 

Pope Benedict XVI opened the Year of Faith, as an opportunity for all Catholics to rediscover a journey of faith, with a declaration in Rome in October 2012. The event at Mount Precipice included an artistic program that featured choirs from Catholic communities around the world, followed by celebration of the Eucharist. Food and souvenir stalls were set up near the site and in the center of Nazareth.

Within the framework of the event, an icon that depicts St. Peter and Jesus in the Galilee was consecrated by a Fransiscan monk from the Holy Land. The icon will be sent to the Vatican where it will be displayed as part of the concluding celenrations for the Year of Faith that will take place next week.

 

In his address during the Mass, the Latin Patriarch thanked "all those who came from the region and around the world to participate in these cherished moments in the Holy Land." The Patriarch thanked the Tourism Ministry and the Nazareth Municipality and all those who helped in the event production for their collaboration.

 

According to estimates by the Tourism Ministry and the Israel Police, about 7,000 Catholic faithful attended the event, including pilgrims from Italy, Brazil, Spain, UK , Japan Poland, the Palestinian Authority and neighboring countries. The event attracted significant international media coverage, with representatives from many foreign media outlets coming to Nazareth to cover the festivities.

 

In 2012, over two million Christian tourists and pilgrims arrived in Israel, representing about 60% of all incoming tourism. According to estimates, the event is expected to contribute to the marketing of Israel around the world as a preferred Christian tourism destination. The Tourism Ministry's dedicated website for the Catholic world: www.holyland-pilgrimage.org

 

Photo Credit: Nitzan Schorer