The way to ensure competition in the ports is to create a real alternative to users of the ports, which will serve the interests of the importers and exporters and lower their costs
"One of the main processes in the economic policy of 2003 was the privatization process. And indeed, since then, public bodies that we didn't believe could be privatized, such as the oil refineries, the national airline and banks, were privatized, and the cornerstone was even laid for the privatization of Israel's ports. The decision to privatize the ports derived from the need to prepare properly for the growth in foreign trade together with competitive costs."
So said Uriel Lynn, President of the Union of Chambers of Commerce, in the logistics panel at the Port2port 2008 conference for shipping and logistics.
Despite this, Lynn emphasized that privatization is not an end unto itself. "Privatization is intended to create competition for the benefit of the users. There is no reason to privatize a monopoly without ensuring true economic competitiveness. From the moment we open the market to competition, we ensure real growth that is spurred on by free market forces."
According to Lynn, it is not possible to carry out the privatization of the ports only on the basis of pure business considerations. "The solution is not contained in competition between the Ashdod Port and the Haifa Port, since an importer from the north will prefer to import via the Haifa Port, while an exporter from the Dead Sea area for instance will choose to export via the Ashdod Port. The way to ensure competition in the ports is to create a real alternative to users of the ports, which will serve the interests of the importers and exporters and lower their costs."
"We must combine the interests of the users with the interests of profitability. Ownership by the importers and exporters, together with the employees, is preferred. A program where 20% of the Ashdod Port is held by the Union of Chambers of Commerce, 20% by the Industrialists Association, 20% by the Histadrut, and 40% by the government, is the correct plan for privatizing the ports."