"It's not right that Israeli high tech is foreign owned"

Publication Date21 Dec 2020
AuthorUri Berkovitz
When Netanyahu retired from political life following the 1999 elections, he was hired by Marom. "When he came to BATM, he was an international expert on the war on terror. When he left BATM, he had become an international economics expert, and became Minister of Finance." Marom told "Globes" in an interview three years ago.

This year, Netanyahu hired Marom. "I made all of our knowhow available to the Israeli government and the prime minister. The fact that the Ministry of Health challenged me and lost - because I insisted that we should wear masks, produce quantities of testing reagents, and increase significantly the number of tests performed whereas, at that time, the Ministry of Health's approach was the opposite - made them dislike me and there are still some who bear a grudge."

Bringing in the private sector

In an interview to mark the end of his two consecutive terms as chairman of the Israeli High-Tech Association, which operates under the auspices of the Manufacturers Association of Israel, Marom explains why both Israel's high-tech sector and the country's Covid-19 campaign suffer the same malaise: a lack of satisfactory cooperation between the public and private sectors, and no long-term planning.

Marom will be replaced by Marian Cohen, President of Mer Group. Cohen (64), is a major in the IDF 8200 unit reserves, who built his career at Mer.

Marom said, "Coronavirus won't disappear, just as the flu doesn't go away, so the economy must be structured to make it possible to live with it. This matter is not being handled well, due to a lack of cooperation between the public and private sectors - there's no clear strategic plan, everything is motivated by minute-to-minute decisions. The relevant organizations are not functioning. They're fighting with one another, and don't know how to work with the private sector. Add to that the political stalemate we're in - it doesn't bode well for Israel's citizens."

What is your main diagnosis regarding how Israel has dealt with the crisis?

"We won't be done with the coronavirus when the vaccines arrive. There will be a vaccine, but the coronavirus will remain. We need to organize economic activity for this thing. There's flu vaccines and then there's the flu, only the coronavirus is more contagious.

What exactly do you propose to do?

"I know countries where there is close cooperation between the government sector and the private sector. The government sector perceives itself as a regulator, ensures that the...

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