Jerusalem, 15 March 2001

PM Sharon addresses Silicon Valley hi-tech fair via videoconference
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Thursday, March 15, 2001, addressed a hi-tech fair taking place in California’s Silicon Valley, by means of a videoconference. Following are his main points:

The Prime Minister stated that the Government is committed to pursuing a lasting peace with security, but with a different, more realistic, step-by-step approach than that which was attempted till now. "I will make every effort to maintain stability and quiet as this is the environment needed for economic growth," he said.

Prime Minister Sharon stressed that Israel has the national resolve, determination and will to develop and realize its potential for sustainable economic growth based on geo-political stability on the one hand, and economic stability and the necessary economic reforms on the other.

Regarding the economic situation in the Palestinian Authority, Prime Minister Sharon said: "Today we have embarked on a program of fighting terrorism while easing some of the restrictions for those who want to work, live their lives and provide a livelihood for their families. The strength of the nations and their ability to survive in this new global environment depends less on military might and more on their technological and economic innovative capability."

Prime Minister Sharon stated that he intends to manage a responsible national budget based on a low deficit, while increasing investment in infrastructure and in high-quality education for all Israeli citizens. He added that he would continue the process of privatization and deregulation to insure smooth integration of the Israeli economy into the expanding global political markets. "Our people are our most precious national resource. The top priority of my government today is investment in our education system with an emphasis on science and technology, and Zionist education. Another principal goal of my government is to increase immigration and bring Jews from all over the world to settle in Israel. This will bring many more high-skilled workers that will bolster our highly sophisticated and ever-growing economy."

In conclusion, Prime Minister Sharon invited all participants to join us here in this effort and added: "I offer a partnership in a most exciting challenge to make peace, stability and prosperity a reality through economic and technological progress, which will benefit both yourselves and our neighbors."