Since its establishment in 1921, the Manufacturers’ Association of Israel (MAI) has been recognized as a central force in the Israeli economy as a whole, and in the industrial sector in particular. It is an independent umbrella organization that represents private, public, government and kibbutz-owned enterprises. The MAI constitutes a powerful force in all decision-making at the macro-economic level, including subjects such as labor and foreign trade - both at the level of proposed parliamentary legislation, as well as the execution of laws. The MAI’s direct and indirect membership of more than 2,000 companies accounts for over 90% of Israel’s industrial output. As a united body, MAI’s members comprise the leading economic force in the Israeli economy.
At the Forefront of the Israeli Economy
- The MAI is recognized as a central force among the three main players that mold the Israeli economy: Government, MAI and Histadrut (Trade Union).
- Being the sole representative body of all industrial sectors in Israel, the MAI is a full partner in all decisions made by leaders of the economy at the macro-economic level.
- The MAI is Israel’s largest employers’ association, representing them in all matters concerning labor agreements vis-à-vis the Histadrut (Trade Union) and the government in particular, and heads labor relations in organized sectors in general.
- The MAI maintains a policy of supporting free and open trade, based on reciprocity and fair trade practices. This is accomplished through lobbying efforts, as well as through the hands-on involvement of the MAI in facilitating opportunities for international trade.
- The MAI President also serves as Chairman of the Federation of Israeli Economic Organizations (FIEO), a body encompassing 15 groups that represent virtually all of the country’s business sectors.
Divisions, Branches and Associations
The MAI operates divisions dealing with major industrial branches and provides numerous services. A private, non-governmental organization funded by its affiliates, the organization operates a main office in Tel Aviv, plus branches in Jerusalem and Haifa. The main aim of the Jerusalem branch is to establish the nation’s capital as a thriving high-tech industrial center. Similarly, the Haifa branch oversees industrial endeavours in Israel’s burgeoning northern districts. The MAI operates through the following divisions: Economics Division, Foreign Trade and International Relations Division, Labor and Human Resources Division, Communications Division and Finance and Administration Division. The organization includes six branch associations, each focusing on its special interests and needs.
MAI members are organized and united under the branch associations that best represent their activities. Branches include: Electronics and Software Association; Textile and Fashion Industries Association; Chemical, Pharmaceutical & Environmental Association; Building Materials & Consumer Goods Association; Food Industries Association; Metal, Electrical & Infrastructure Industries Association.
The MAI serves Israeli industries in a variety of ways: coordinating professional seminars and international trade delegations; assisting MAI members in penetrating foreign markets; promoting joint ventures & technological cooperation; advising companies in need of technical and managerial support; intervening in labor and municipal disputes; facilitating local and international business contacts, and more.
An Unparalleled Network of Valuable Contacts
A broad network of formal and informal contacts with key players in Israeli governmental and non-governmental organizations - such as banking institutions, international companies and public organizations - places the MAI at the forefront of Israeli industry and society. The MAI is officially and permanently represented in many public institutions and organizations, both in Israel and abroad. Among them are the Israel Management Center, Israel Shippers’ Council, MATIMOP - Israeli Industry Center for R&D, Federation of Bi-national Chambers of Commerce, Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute, numerous government institutions, institutions of higher learning and many others. In the international arena, the MAI is represented in the ILO (International Labor Organization); IOE (International Organization of Employers); UMCE (Union of Mediterranean Confederation of Enterprises); WTCA (World Trade Centers Association); BIAC (Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); CIP (Competitiveness and Innovation Program); KOMPASS Group (Business Search Network); ICCA (International Council of Chemical Associations), etc.