PM Netanyahu Meets with Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and with Mobileye Founders Prof. Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Tuesday, 14 March 2017), met with Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and Mobileye founders Prof. Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram, at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem. Economy Minister Eli Cohen also attended the meeting.
Prime Minister Netanyahu:
"This is a holiday for the Israeli economy and for Jerusalem.
Israel is quickly becoming a global technology power and this is no coincidence. It is a vision that we believe in and are leading with a combination of a free economy and advanced technology. I would like to make it clear that without the minds of the talented people sitting around this table, and I include you Eli, Economy Minister; without this, we would not get far. However, without a free economy, with high and unattractive rates of taxation, we would not get anywhere. With a choking bureaucracy we will not get anywhere. Therefore, we are combining these two things as a matter of policy – advanced technology and a free economy.
Of course, this has found expression today in a very major deal, the largest in the history of Israel, in which a global company like Intel has decided to acquire an Israeli company not just to take it but to expand it, here, and also give it the tools with which to manage the developing field of automotive technology, driverless vehicles, and other things that will be undoubtedly added to it. The fact that this is happening here is great testimony not only to the talent found here, in Israel, but also to the faith in the Israeli economy.
We are in the midst of a global revolution. You have already heard me say many times, a revolution of a meeting between great data banks, connectedness and artificial intelligence. This is creating new industries, one of which is familiar to you, the cyber industry. We have invested greatly in this and while Israel is in a good position, we are now in a leading position, with Mobileye, in a field with similar uses, the automotive industry. I believe that there will be other industries. The importance is that Israel is a global center in this developing field. It, first of all, gives investment in jobs that we are going to receive, in Jerusalem itself, thousands of additional jobs, and this will inject funds into the treasury.
I spoke with the Finance Minister yesterday. We are simply going to advance what we intended to do even before the deal but it will be much easier to do this with the deal. Of course, this is to put a portion of these funds back in the citizens' pockets in the form of lower taxes and in other ways.
This is good news for growth. Growth is not just a goal in and of itself, it is a means. Thanks to growth, we finance Israeli citizens' social needs, which the government is seeing to: Health, education and social welfare, all of these with their principal financing, to say nothing of security, the main financing of which comes from growth. And with such major investments, I have no doubt that there will also be additional investments, this will greatly assist growth. With the benefits of growth we will invest in social budgets. If you look at our 2017 budget, its growth in all of these fields is not coincidental. It increased as a result of our growth. We are growing because we are combining a freer economy with high tech.
I would like to congratulate Prof. Shashua and Ziv Aviram. I think that they have shown extraordinary vision here. I told them yesterday: 'Israel genius and Israeli pride.' I would like to compliment Intel and its leadership for their good sense. I think that you have made an excellent decision and I think that this will benefit the people of Israel. Brian, congratulations."
Prime Minister Netanyahu on the meeting with Jason Greenblatt:
"About my talks with Jason Greenblatt, I must say that they were good, in-depth talks. I cannot tell you that we finished. We agreed, we are in a process, but a process of genuine mutual, very frank dialogue, in the good sense of the word. Very open and very frank, just not open to the press. You will need to wait a little, I do not think for long."
Prime Minister Netanyahu on lowering taxes:
"I think that lowering taxes helps, first of all, additional growth which, turn, gives us budgets. This is something that I am insisting on. I have been trying to explain this for 20 years. There are countries that took a different path, and you can see them in Europe and elsewhere, they did not accept this outlook. But my outlook has been that to the extent that I lower taxation rates, to a known limit, this is not endless and there are pitfalls that we will not go into. But as I lower taxation rates, I do not receive less taxes, I receive more taxes and I receive them as a result of additional growth.
The practical proof is our budgets. With this policy we have succeeded in growing, except for a few isolated years, at a rate of between four and five percent per annum. This is a very high rate for an economy the GDP per capita of which is almost $40,000 and I am determined to continue.
When the economy grows at such a pace, it creates for us a taxation infrastructure, government funds, with lower rates of taxation, which I receive into the treasury. This is a fact. We are investing this money, of course, in social services. Health, social welfare and education budgets have grown by billions this year as a result of this combination of growth on the one hand and social services on the other. There is no conflict here. As soon as it is understood that there is no contradiction between the two, you can at least understand what I think and were I am leading the economy. I think that this is the right direction and I am pleased that giant companies like Intel have already been in Israel for decades. They have certainly identified our potential.
I believe that if they thought that the macro-economic management of the Israeli economy was management that was less good, I am not sure that they would have made this investment, even with all of the immense talent and genius around the table. They want to know this as well and I have discussed it with the Finance Minister and with the Economy Minister. We will discuss several additional steps in addition to those I have mentioned."