Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today attended the first meeting of The National Economic Council (NEC) Advisory Committee, chaired by Ori Yogev. 

Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Director-General Eyal Gabai and National Economic Council Chairman Prof. Eugene Kandel also attended the meeting, as did the following Advisory Committee members: former National Insurance Institute Director-General Dr. Yigal Ben-Shalom, Harel Insurance Chairman Yair Hamburger, former Finance Ministry Director-General Prof. Ben-Zion Zilberfarb, ELKA Director-General Dr. Michal Hamo, Council for Higher Education in Israel Planning and Budget Committee Chairman Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg, former Tax Commissioner Tali Yiron-Eldar, former Mizrahi Bank Director-General Victor Medina, Interdisciplinary Center Provost Prof. Rafi Melnick and Osem Chairman Dan Proper.

The meeting focused on the Committee’s working procedures and functions. NEC Chairman Kandel briefed participants on the structure of the NEC and the main items on its agenda.  PMO Dir.-Gen. Gabai discussed the structure of the NEC’s regular work within the PMO.  The Committee members also spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu about the main issues which the former believe should be on both the Committee’s and the Prime Minister’s agenda.

Prime Minister Netanyahu noted the importance of establishing an advisory body- like Committee, as exists in several developed countries, and said that not only could it openly discuss various issues, but that it would allow him to hold consultations in a closed and independent forum.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said: "We are in a constantly intensifying global competition.  Therefore, we must move quickly.  I would like to advance the Government’s economic policy.  We have learned that creating a critical mass of reforms is an important component.  The cumulative effect of reforms is greater than the effect of individual reforms, and if we enact many changes at once or in close sequence, we will receive a growth effect."

Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated the major importance of the reforms that the Government is currently advancing in the field of land management and planning: Land availability, shortened planning procedures and the construction of a national transportation network of highways and rail lines, in order to expedite growth and cancel the concept of a periphery.

Committee Chairman Yogev said: "The Committee will assist the Prime Minister in choosing the best path from a basket of all possibilities and in making and implementing decisions.  Therefore, we have chosen people who are very familiar with the various sectors of the economy, the public and business sectors, experts who understand macroeconomics.  The most important thing is that this is an objective forum."