More than half of the industrial establishments are in the Tel Aviv-Yafo area, but a great deal of heavy industry is concentrated around Haifa. Most plants are privately owned. State enterprises are mainly devoted to exploitation of natural resources in the Negev; some other enterprises are controlled by the Histadrut. Israel is research and development-oriented. Hundreds of foreign companies have invested in Israel during the 1990s, the bulk in strategic high-technology projects in such fields as aviation, communications, computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM), medical electronics, fine chemicals, pharmaceuticals, solar energy, and sophisticated irrigation. Over 88% of the increase exports in the 1990s.
Major expansion has taken place in textiles, machinery and transport equipment, metallurgy, mineral processing, electrical products, precision instruments, and chemicals. However, industry remains handicapped by reliance on imported raw materials, relatively high wage costs, low productivity, and inflation. Incentive schemes and productivity councils, representing workers and management, have been set up in an attempt to increase work output. Whereas in the past Israel's industry concentrated on consumer goods, by the 1980s it was stressing the manufacture of capital goods.