US tech giant and chipmaker Intel has decided to invest ₪40 billion ($11 billion) in a new production plant in the southern Israeli city of Kiryat Gat, a move that will bring thousands of jobs to the blue-collar area.

Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon called the move “an unprecedented decision that is expected to bring thousands of jobs to the south.”

Intel already has two facilities in Kiryat Gat and offices elsewhere in Israel. Having established a presence in Israel in 1974, Intel now reportedly employs about 12,000 Israelis — about 60 percent in R&D and half in high-volume manufacturing of microprocessors that power the world’s computing devices.

The upcoming production plant is expected to employ an additional 1,000.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Intel Israel CEO Yaniv Garty earlier this week, praising Intel’s “special plan to absorb young people from distressed areas and introduce them to the world of tomorrow.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Intel Israel executives in Jerusalem on January 30, 2019. Photo by Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO

 

Intel will reportedly receive a $1 billion grant from the Israeli government for its investment.

“The moment the company comes to Israel and invests $10 billion, and it receives a grant of 9 percent, that means 91 percent of it stays here,” Reuters quoted Kahlon as saying in an interview on Army Radio. “There are always such discounts, there are always incentives.”

Intel has yet to disclose details of the investment. In 2018, Intel reported its exports from Israel reached $4 billion.