The Intel Israel President told the Globes Business Conference: If the multinational companies aren’t here, we’ll regress to the stone age.
“What has brought us here is a dear man from Silicon Valley, Dov Frohman, who wanted to establish business here when he returned to Israel, said Intel senior VP and Intel Israel president Moody Eden. “The second part is the contribution of the employees in the fab or in R&D. Competition is intense, and you can’t close your eyes for even a minute.”
When asked whether Intel had received better offers from other countries for setting up fabs, he answered, “A multinational company looks at a range of things: benefits, taxation, the consumer market, creativity, etc. When the overall picture is a competitive one, all-in-all, we managed to cope. When we didn’t succeed, well, we saw what happened with Ireland.”
Eden was referring to Intel’s most recent fab, which the company decided to build in Ireland, following a public outcry in Israel about the amount of benefits demanded by Intel.
Eden said, “When we look at these multinational companies, it doesn’t matter whether or not we like it. There are global trends that are too big for us to change. The big ones are going to get bigger. Business will be conducted by the big companies. The small companies are being acquired by the medium-sized ones, and the medium-sized ones by the large ones. In the long run, we’ll see that a larger proportion of the big companies will move to the developing countries. If the multinational companies aren’t here, we’ll regress to the stone age.
“Israel needs to take positive action to ensure that the large companies come to Israel, because it has enormous significance. When I look at what’s happening in Israel in high tech, when they told us there would be elections, it means that a large proportion of the plans for 2015 will be put on hold. It’s like telling us to stop development for six months. I don’t understand how you can compete like this. People don’t understand that competition is not only between the left and the right; it’s also between the Israeli and global economies. The effect of this is horrendous. We don’t have the luxury of stopping for six months.”
Eden also commented on Israel’s educational problem, which he called “the tsunami of education. You have to see not what we have today in high tech, but the approaching wave of students who will feed us in 10-15 years. The educational indices in Israel are bad. 35% of the students don’t reach a minimum level in mathematics. You can’t talk about business without mentioning this thing. We’re getting fewer disdavantaged graduates from the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. If we don’t urgently take care of the problem of education in Israel, we’ll read about Israel as a start-up nation only in the history books.”
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com