Haifa Port June 2013 / Photo – Albatross
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/By Ilan Shavit /
The government issued two international tenders for the construction and operation of two new private seaports to compete with the existing Ashdod and Haifa ports.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu declared the move as , “the end of monopolies”.
Yisrael Katz Minister of transportation announced in May 2013 that the tenders would be issued by July 1. On time, as promised, at a joint press conference with Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Katz said that with the launching of the program to construct two private ports the government was “opening the water to competition and increased activity by international companies, just as the government had increased competition at Israel’s airports with the Open Skies agreement”.
“The decision to build two ports creates a situation in which real competition can develop in Haifa and Ashdod, ” Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said, “While the new plan circumvented the existing, state-held ports, steps were also being taken to make those ports more efficient”.
Katz stated that the ports would make Israel an international hub for shipping, especially with it being a center of stability amid regional turmoil.
Netanyahu said the government was working on further reforms to lower costs and improve the economy. “We started with Open Skies” he said, referring to a recently signed deal with the EU to reduce the costs of flights to and from the country, “and now we’re moving toward open waters.”
“This government is here to get the work done, ” Finance Minister Yair Lapid told reporters at the briefing. “Today we’re bringing seaport reform to the Israeli public, which has been waiting for it for 65 years. The decision to establish two ports creates a reality that will enable real competition in Ashdod and Haifa.”
Netanyahu said at the press conference that great interest had already been exhibited internationally in the tenders.
Eitan-Terminal Ashdod Port / Photo Ofek Aerial