Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, met with Philips CEO and Chairman of the Board of Management and the Executive Committee Frans van Houten. The two discussed the importance of promoting international investments in research and development. It was also agreed that Prime Minister's Office Director-General Harel Locker and National Economic Council Director Eugene Kandel would chair a committee that would – along with Philips representatives – examine technological improvements in the health system, and energy efficiency.
Philips, which operates in the fields of electronics, health and lighting, has been active in Israel since the establishment of the state. In 1998, it opened a local office after Prime Minister Netanyahu, in his first term, invited Philips' international management to visit Israel in order to become acquainted with local technology companies. As a result of this visit, and at the Prime Minister's request, the company decided to open an official office in Israel. Philips is considered a global giant and has registered approximately 54,000 patents including the transistor, audio recorder, CD and DVD.
The company's activity in Israel – most of which is for export – is currently estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of US dollars per annum. It has also invested in Israeli lighting, medical and electronics firms.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "I ask that you increase your investments in Israel. You and Israel's citizens will both gain thereby."
Philips CEO van Houten said, "This meeting closes a circle for me. Today, approximately 14 years after the meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Philips employs approximately 700 workers in research, development, production, marketing and sales at three sites in Israel."