Netanyahu: Buy Blue-and-White

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on his way to a recent Cabinet meeting. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The Cabinet approved on Sunday a proposal by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to promote the purchase of domestic products and strengthen Israeli industry.

Netanyahu declared at the weekly Cabinet meeting, “I call on the citizens of Israel to purchase domestic products, blue-and-white products, in order to encourage local production and also strengthen businesses.

“I also asked my ministry and the relevant government ministries to extend special assistance to Israeli E-commerce for small businesses. Large businesses are already doing this anyway but for small and maybe middle-sized businesses, I want them to be able to sell their wares, domestic products, via the Internet in E-commerce. There is a web site, I want to add to it and I want to ascertain that we are moving budgets to it, which have already been allocated, the necessary funds for this important effort.”

The main points of the prime minister’s program were released in a statement from his office:

  1. Providing for preference for domestic products in mixed tenders for goods and services.
  2. Providing for preference for domestic products in local authority tenders via the possibility of comparing to the lowest bid and applying it to local authorities, local corporations and local authority economic companies which carry out local authority procurement worth billions of shekels.
  3. Establishing a team to evaluate the possibility of carrying out a pilot plan to prefer domestic products in integrated tenders that include secondary suppliers, in the framework of which a proportion of Israeli procurement is assured.
  4. Launching a public campaign to encourage the purchase of domestic products.
  5. The decision includes the allocation of a 75 million shekel budget for assistance to small and middle-sized businesses in expanding online sales.

Steps were also taken to strengthen Israeli industry including assistance and benefits for health system suppliers, grants for increased productivity and use of advanced production technologies in industry in 2021, grants for exporters to assist in creating new business opportunities abroad in 2021 and reducing customs on inputs for Israeli textile manufacturers.

The decision was formulated by Finance Minister Yisrael Katz in cooperation with Histadrut Chairman Arnon Bar-David and Dubi Amitai, the chairman of the presidency of business organizations.