Tech giant Intel set to invest billions more into Israel

Tech giant Intel set to invest billions more into Israel
Intel is set to invest around $10 billion in a new tech site in Israel.
2 min read
29 January, 2019
Intel is set to invest billions more into Israel's economy [Getty]

Intel plans to invest a further $11 billion in Israel, according to ministers on Monday night, with the tech giant set to expand its operations with a new production plant in the south of the country.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said late Monday that the computer chip maker plans "to invest another 40 billion shekels (around $11 billion), an unprecedented decision expected to bring thousands of jobs to the south [of Israel]".

Economy Minister Eli Cohen said Intel had chosen to "build its most advanced plant here in Israel".

Israel also announced that Intel would recive a $1 billion reward from the government, due to the investment.

"The moment the company comes to Israel and invests $10 billion, and it receives a grant of 9 percent, that means 91 percent of it stays here," Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon told Army Radio.

"There are always such discounts, there are always incentives," he said, according to Reuters.

Intel also confirmed the news in a statement of its planned expansion in southern Israel.

"Intel today announced it will submit a business plan to the government of Israel for continued investment in the company's Kiryat Gat manufacturing site," Intel's Israeli representatives said, according to AFP.

Intel already decided last year on a $5 billion upgrade to its base in Kiryat Gat. 

A year earlier, it signed a $15 billion deal to buy Israeli autonomous technology firm Mobileye, the country's biggest cross-border high-tech deal ever.

Israel prides itself on its tech industry, dubbing its hub near Tel Aviv as "Silicon Wadi" - a pun on California's "Silicon Valley", by taking the Arabic word for valley.

The area includes offices and plants of some of the world's biggest tech and social media companies including IBM, Facebook and Hewlett-Packard.

Intel is one of the biggest employers in Israel's tech heartland, employing some 11,700 people at its Kiryat Gat plant and other centres, in addition to 1,170 Mobileye workers.

Intel has been described as "Israel's oldest and best friend in hi-tech" by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, with the tech giant opening a research and development centre in Haifa in 1974.

Intel has produced 1 billion chips from its Israeli manufacturing plants that are used in computers across the world, with the company’s exports from Israel reaching $4 billion in 2018.

Israel's military and intelligence services have been big beneficiaries of the country's hi-tech industries. Israeli spyware has also been purchased by the Saudi, Bahrain and UAE regimes to snoop on activists.