The committee discussing economic concentration in Israel received opinions from no small number of people, based on the minutes of its meetings that were published yesterday.
People addressing the committee, sending in recommendations, included top academics, businessmen and government officials as well as ordinary citizens.
For instance, Alon Granot, vice president of flavor-making company Frutarom, described what a hard time he had when he tried to import a vehicle independently. While this is legal, the official importers and the Transportation Ministry maintain a de facto monopoly, he said.
Bernard Gapso, who called himself a former businessmen, told the committee that the country's malls won't let an independent businessman open a store, except perhaps malls in less desirable locations.
He suggested forcing malls to set aside a certain portion of space for independent businesses, as opposed to major chains, and forbidding distributors to sell products for less than they sell to independent businesses.
Another concerned citizen, Sasson Scarapi, suggested that Israel become a full-fledged member of the euro bloc, which would enable new competitors to enter the local economy en masse. Since that won't be happening any time soon, he proposed an alternative: striking free-trade agreements with countries with similar economic and demographic profiles.
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