The giant California-based UST Global will build a cyber-defense center in Israel and will employ up to 10,000 people, including Haredim, Minister of Economy and Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett announced from Washington.
In a video (below) that Bennett posted on his Facebook page, UST CEO Sajan Pillai, sounding like Bennett’s election campaign manager, said that one of the reasons his company chose Israel to build the center is “the ability of the government leadership to act quickly.”
UST also is acting quickly. Pillai said he hopes to start working on the new center by the end of March, which just happens to be 17 days after Israelis vote for a new Knesset.
UST Global is a multinational provider of IT services and solutions and specializes in healthcare, retail and consumer goods, banking and financial services, media, entertainment, insurance, transportation and manufacturing.
Bennett and Pillai did not disclose where the center will be built except to see it will be in the “outlying” areas, meaning not in metropolitan Tel Aviv. Bennett said that the company’s training program for workers will include Haredim.
The Be’er Sheva area is a good guess for the location because several international companies already are establishing high-tech centers in a new industrial park being established in cooperation with Ben Gurion University.
“Today, more companies in the world look at cyber-defense as one of their top problems,” said Pillai, who said the first reason UST is locating in Israel is that it has “the best brand for intelligence and cyber defense, bar none.”
He added, “Number two, 40 percent of all cyber defense companies today are located in Israel.”
The accomplishment of bringing 10,000 news jobs to Israel and to relatively underdeveloped areas will be a big plus for Bennett in the election campaign, in which the economy is a major issue.
The favorable polls for a new party headed by former Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon, who broke the cartel of mobile phone companies and brought down mobile call prices by 90 percent, is a strong indication that voters want action and not talk.
Yair Lapid, who was Finance Minister until Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu fired him last week and called for new elections, has been championing a program of zero Value Added Tax on the purchase of new homes, but he failed to bring the bill into law. His proposal earned headlines and was applauded until it became clear that there were so many limitations in the bill that it would help only a few thousand people.