Israel FinMin taps ex-cenbank chief Frenkel to head new economic cabinet

Israeli Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman arrives for a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, June 20, 2021. Emmanuel Dunand/Pool via REUTERS

JERUSALEM, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Israeli Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Monday he has established an economic expert cabinet led by former Bank of Israel Governor Jacob Frenkel to examine policy steps needed over the long term.

Lieberman, who took over the post when Israel's new government was formed in mid-June, said the committee already held its first meeting.

Last week he presented his first state budget plan for 2021-2022 while also proposing a series of economic reforms aimed at boosting competition and lowering the cost of living and integrating ultra-Orthodox Jewish men into the workforce.

"The team will analyse policy and examine the breadth and depth of the proposed policy measures," he said in a statement, noting market players were watching Israel closely since the country has not had an approved budget in three years.

"The key to (economic) success is achieving sustainable growth, while maintaining financial stability and increasing productivity," he said.

Frenkel, who served as central bank chief in the 1990s, was also chairman of JPMorgan Chase International, vice chairman of AIG Group and chairman of Merrill Lynch International.

Also on the panel are former budget director David Boaz, Eli Yones -- a former accountant general and chief executive of Bank Hapoalim and Bank Mizrahi -- Blackrock Israel CEO Anat Levin, attorney Udi Barzilai and Ephraim Sadka, former chair of construction firm Shikun and Binui.

Reporting by Steven Scheer Editing by Ari Rabinovitch

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