Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Intel plant in Kiryat Gat today to inaugurate its new production line, which employs new chip production technology. The upgrade of machinery in this project had cost $6 billion, including a $300 million government grant.
Netanyahu visited the plant together with Prime Minister's Office Director-General Eli Gruner and National Economic Council Head Prof. Avi Simhon. They met with company employees and managers and visited the clean room where chips are produced. The prime minister also examined efforts to upgrade production lines at the plant, which will enable chip production using some of the world's cutting edge technology.
At the end of the visit, Netanyahu met with Intel employees for the production line inauguration ceremony, in which Intel executives provided him with a piece of silicon produced at the plant. Netanyahu told Intel employees, "The vision of the future is realized here, now. You are producing a new future. Using technology, you amplify Israel's power. Israel is a global technological superpower. The national revolution is to do away with the periphery called Kiryat Gat, Beersheva, Afula and Yokneam. There is no south or north, we are doing way with the periphery."
Amir Faintuch, Intel senior vice president and representative of its global management, told Netanyahu during the visit that Israel, in which Intel has four R&D centers and a production plant, will play a key role in the strategic change the company has been undergoing recently. "At present, Intel is turning from a company specializing only in developing and producing chips to a company whose developments drive cloud-based computer centers and billions of smart, connected, devices," he said. Faintuch added that Haifa hosted the first Intel development center outside the US and that some of Intel's most advanced and successful developments in the past decades have been made in Israel, including the Intel Core processors used in most of the world's computers.
Intel VP and Intel Israel CEO Maxine Fassberg said that Intel has invested over $17 billion in Israel and, over the next decade, is expected to purchase goods and services totaling NIS 18.7 billion in Israel. "Intel Israel is proud and excited to host the prime minister. In its 42 years, Intel has turned into an inseparable part of Israel's market, Israel's economy and Israel's society. Tens of thousands of Intel employees are a mirror of Israel's population: from all sectors and professions and all contributing to our shared success. Together, we have been developing southern Israel, promoting Israeli exports and leading the world of technology."
Intel's Israel production plant CEO Daniel Benatar said during the meeting that a new kind of technological Zionism has been taking place in Kiryat Gat in the past few years. "Intel is building here one of the world's most advanced plants, using thousands of hard working employees, from engineers, electrical engineering and chemistry doctors to welders, pipe fitters and construction workers, Israelis from across the spectrum of Israeli society - Jews, Arabs, Druze and Bedouins, religious, ultra-orthodox, young 25 year olds and veteran employees over 60; this is a source of pride for Israel."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 14, 2016
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