Chairing the event was Dr. Amir Ziv-Av, head of a premier Israeli engineering firm that bears his name. The firm has designed dozens of products, such as a complete automated airport baggage handling system, innovative lifts and transport equipment for semi-trailers and train cars, improvements on armored Hummer vehicles, as well as numerous medical devices.
"Improving Israel’s ability to compete in manufacturing, he said, is “critical for the economy. Many companies transfer their manufacturing to the Far East in order to save money, but this is not a good solution for the country – and it is often not the best solution for manufacturers, either. There’s a lot of room for efficiency improvement in Israeli manufacturing, and that would go a long way to reducing costs.”
For example, said Ziv-Av, Israel, a leader in robotics, could develop a policy that would increase the use of robots in manufacturing – a move that would reduce costs and enable Israel to compete in manufacturing, even in consumer product manufacturing, an area where China is considered “untouchable. For Europe, shipping from Israel is a lot cheaper than shipping from Europe, and if high-tech manufacturing methods are implemented, we will find that the cost of labor falls significantly – with more factories opening to provide more jobs. Competition requires optimization and efficiency, and Israel has the technology that can be applied to manufacturing that can make this country a manufacturing powerhouse.”"