Mnuchin Hails Israel Investment Opportunities, Eyes Infrastructure

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters/Hamodia) -
mnuchin israel
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu shakes hands with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin prior to their meeting in Yerushalayim, Sunday. (Gali Tibbon/Pool via Reuters)

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin praised investment opportunities in Israel on Sunday and said Washington would increase its participation in infrastructure projects there.

“We have a very important relationship with Israel. This is really a great place for investments, particularly technology investments,” Mnuchin, launching a Middle East tour, told reporters in Yerushalayim.

“We are going to make sure we do more infrastructure investments here,” he added, without elaborating, in remarks alongside Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Israel and the United States have strong trade and business ties, particularly in the high-tech sector. Most of the large U.S. high-tech firms, including Google, Amazon, Microsoft and IBM, have research and development centers in Israel.

Intel Corp in May submitted plans to expand its production operations in Israel, with the Israeli government saying the U.S. chipmaker would invest about $5 billion. Intel’s exports from Israel amounted to $3.6 billion in 2017.

Also on the agenda during Mnuchin’s visit will be the appointment of a joint task force to review the tax treaty between Israel and the U.S. designed to avoid double taxation, and to identify sections of the treaty that need to be updated, Globes reported.

The Treasury secretary was set to meet with his counterpart Moshe Kahlon and other senior officials to discuss tax changes, particularly its projected impact on Israeli exporters.