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Israel Bourse Calls for Tax-Free Trading Zone

Move would attract foreign companies and boost local industry, management argues.
Jul 28, 2020 9:43 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... The Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) has urged the government to establish an international free-trade area in the bourse complex, arguing that the tax-free zone would attract foreign companies and boost the local industry.

The plan would help the Israel sector recover from the unprecedented slowdown that the coronavirus has triggered, IDE president Yoram Dvash told a meeting of the parliamentary Economic Affairs Committee on Monday. Israeli diamond businesses have seen their sales dry up since the pandemic began, as demand from US and Asian clients has slumped.

“To ensure the continued success of our industry, we propose to take advantage of our status as a leading diamond center and to establish an international diamond-trading area in Israel with the support of the Ministry of Economy,” Dvash said.

Israel’s diamond industry has been a major contributor to the economy for more than 80 years, predating the establishment of the state in 1948, Dvash noted. However, unlike other global trading hubs, the IDE is not currently a tax-free zone.

“When a major industry is hurt so hard, the state must intervene and provide the necessary aid,” said Economic Affairs Committee chairman Ya’acov Margi.

The committee has recommended the proposal to the Ministry of Economy and other government authorities, and called on the government to offer other help to the industry, including by adjusting its system of loan guarantees.

Image: The diamond-exchange district in Ramat Gan, Israel. (Shutterstock)
Tags: Economic Affairs Committee, IDE, international free-trade area, Israel, Israel Diamond Exchange, Ministry of Economy, Rapaport News, tax, Tax-Free Zone, Ya’acov Margi, Yoram Dvash
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