Minister: Infrastructure Projects Could Bring Billions to Israel

egypt gas
The Israeli Tamar natural-gas-processing rig off the coast of Ashkelon. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

The state is set to embark on major infrastructure projects in the next few years – and this is an opportunity to significantly expand the Israeli economy, Economy Minister Eli Cohen said at a cabinet meeting. The key to that expansion is the continued implementation of the reciprocal purchase program, which requires companies that sell to Israel to buy from Israeli companies as well. According to Cohen, that expansion could bring NIS 74 billion in business to Israeli companies in the coming years.

Applying to government contracts, the program sees foreign companies that Israeli firms and ministries contract with, make reciprocal purchases from Israeli suppliers. In 2018, the economy benefited from NIS 4 billion in purchases, with 1,065 Israeli companies benefiting.

In the coming years, Israel will be developing large energy infrastructure projects, including pumping natural gas from the Tamar and Leviathan gas fields directly to power plants for the production of electricity. These projects will require an investment of some NIS 200 billion on the part of the government. According to Cohen, requiring reciprocal purchases for these projects could bring in over NIS 70 billion into the economy. Cohen urged the government to extend the program and ensure that Israeli firms benefit from the government’s infrastructure investment.

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