Ministry Directors: Doubled Exports, City Police Forces in 2010

The directors general of all 23 government ministries are to present their work plans for 2010 and subsequent years tomorrow and Tuesday at the fourth annual conference of directors general, at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.

"If the multi-year plans of the ministries are carried out, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's vision of turning Israel into one of the 15 leading countries in the world will come to fruition," Prime Minister's Office Director General Eyal Gabai said.

Gabai added that the joint presentation of all the ministries' annual and multi-year programs will lead to coordination among the ministries, to the benefit of the ministries and the entire Israeli economy. Gabai emphasized that in contrast to similar conferences in the past, this time the budget for each ministry is known.

Each ministry is to give a presentation of its targets for 2010 and for the years to come.

The presentation of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor indicates a plan to march Israel into the list of the 15 countries with the highest gross domestic product within a decade. (In terms of per-capita buying power Israel is currently ranked 23rd.) During that period the ministry also intends to double Israel's exports, from $51.2 billion a year to $103 billion; to increase workforce participation to the European Union average and to reduce by 50% the gap between Israel and EU states when it comes to the income disparity between the richest and poorest Israelis.

The Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry also intends to allocate NIS 45 million to help Israeli firms bid for international tenders and sign free trade agreements with China, India, South Korea, Chile and the EU.

The Health Ministry's 2010 program calls for it to work toward reducing private health costs while expanding public health services, as well as including dental treatment in the "basket" of government-subsidized health services. The presentation does not, however, cite budget figures for its plans.

According to the Ministry of Public Security plan, by the end of March 2010 the number of combined law enforcement teams dedicated to fighting public corruption and organized crime will increase from six to nine. Around 20 bills aimed at heightening law enforcement will be submitted to the Knesset, and municipal police forces are to be created in 10 cities by October of next year.