Intel Ireland has declined to comment on a comment that the expansion of Intel in Israel will be bad news for Ireland and the USA. On the Fudzilla website this week, it was reported that Israeli Economy Minister Eli Cohen said last Tuesday he was told by Intel Corp that the company’s board has approved a plan to expand its operations in Israel. The site said: “This will be bad news for those in the US and Ireland who had been wooing Intel with sweeteners and tax benefits if it set up shop there. It would appear that Intel, which already has a sizable base in Kiryat Gat, would expand it.”
Fudzilla said could not get an immediate comment from Intel but added that the Minister had said in February that Intel planned to invest $5 billion in expanding production at its Kiryat Gat plant in southern Israel.
At the time he said that Intel would start expanding the plant this year and planned to complete the work in 2020. Intel has said it has plans to upgrade the Israel facility to 10-nanometer technology from 22-nanometer. Asked by the Leader to comment on the article, Hugh Hardiman, Director of Public Affairs, Intel Ireland, told the Leader: “We have no comment in relation to this article.” Intel is a big employers and exporters in Israel.
Meanwhile, the Irish Independent reported that Israel's Finance Ministry said the company would invest about €4.3bn in the factory between 2018-2020 and had agreed to spend €710m on local suppliers. As a result, Intel would continue its reduced tax rate of 5% until 2027. The Israel Finance Ministry was reported as saying that it was also considering giving Intel a €165m grant, with a second grant of the same size to come with future investments. Intel is reported as saying that it exported €3bn of goods and services from Israel in 2017, about 8pc of Israel’s total hi-tech exports.