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The Ministry of Construction and Housing allows foreign construction companies to operate in Israel for the first time

In March 2016 the government adopted the housing cabinet’s recommendations regarding criteria for allowing foreign construction companies to begin operating in Israel. This move is one of the government’s strategies for increasing the volume of residential construction in Israel.

The government decided, inter alia, to publish a federal RFP (request for proposal), containing the threshold requirements and qualification criteria in order to establish a base of six foreign construction companies with proven expertise in residential construction.

The six foreign construction companies selected during this process will be permitted to engage in residential construction projects in Israel over the next five years. They will be permitted to bring in up to 1,000 foreign construction workers who will engage solely in wet works on the companies’ residential construction projects in Israel.

The government also decided that these construction companies will be able to operate in Israel as performance contractors and as subcontractors, and will even be allowed to form joint ventures with Israeli entrepreneurs.


The government reached its decision on March 7, 2016 and the RFP was published in March 23, 2016. Last week, with the aim of attracting more interest among foreign construction companies in tendering bids, an amended RFP was published, containing far more lenient threshold requirements (and accordingly, more latitude, when examining the bids and ranking the criteria). 

The amended RFP is significantly more lenient in many respects, such as less stringent financial criteria – for example: in the original RFP, the foreign construction companies were required to have a minimum annual turnover of USD 500 million; in the amended RFP, this qualification criterion was lowered to USD 300 million.

The amended RFP also lowered the threshold requirements pertaining to the foreign construction companies’ manpower – while in the original RFP, the foreman was required to possess at least five years of experience on average, the amended RFP does not refer to any minimum experience requirement from foremen; as for performance engineers, the minimum years of experience was lowered from 10 years to 8 years.

Considering the amended terms of the RFP and, as stated, for the purpose of soliciting bids from additional foreign construction companies, the Ministry of Construction and Housing extended the RFP deadline to August 1, 2016.


To view the full amended version of the RFP please click here