|Benjamin Netanyahu & Bumi Traub|
Israel Diamond Manufacturing Association Bumi Traub met on Monday with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as part of a meeting of the heads of the economic organization coordinating offices.
Over the course of the meeting, Traub updated the prime minister, informing him that ever since the tax authority investigation began their investigation of the local diamond industry in January 2012, foreign customers have stopped coming to Israel and diamond industry activity has seriously suffered.
Netanyahu instructed the relevant officials to do everything in order to return the diamond industry to its former position, noting, "The diamond industry is an important and significant industry to the Israeli economy." A team from the prime minister's office will meet in the coming days with Traub in order to come up with a list of recommendations for the prime minister of how to help advance the industry.
Traub emphasized that actions must be taken on two fronts simultaneously. On one hand, the establishment of a diamond industrial park - one that will incorporate work from certain sectors and sectors that have a low level of participation in the labor market – should be encouraged. On the other hand, regulations should be changed so that Israeli banks will grant additional credit to the diamond industry.
Other participants at the meeting included the Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, Housing Minister Ariel Atias, Industry Trade and Labor Minister Shalom Simhon, Deputy Finance Minister Itzik Cohen, Prime Minister's Office Director Harel Locker, and the head of the National Economic Council Professor Eugene Kendall.