Hozman Bechor opened the panel with the steps the port in taking to prepare for the era of competition: "the Ashdod Port is going to make a significant financial leap forward in the scope of its investment and will prepare itself for the era of competition. The port will remain a major player amongst six equal players. We are going to invest 2.5 billion shekels in developing the port in the long term, and a billion and a half shekels in the short term. In order for the clients to keep believing in us in 2021 as well, we have made the improvement of service our main goal. The Ashdod Port Company is an excellent company with excellent workers, and all I want is for them to continue working, and when they do so they know how to provide the very best service". As for the concerns of the employees regarding the new port that is being built, the chairwoman of the Ashdod Port remarked that: "I can understand the employees' feelings when they arrive each morning and see the new port being built before their eyes. That is a concern that every employee may feel, but despite this feeling they work and produce output, and that can be seen in the financial reports we published just recently". Regarding the issue of competing with the new ports, Hozman Bechor emphasized that: "if the new ports have the right to sign contracts for a period of five year, we only have the ability to sign for 12 months. You understand what this means. I want the Ashdod Port to receive whatever the new port receives. We are an equal player when the opportunity is equal". The chairwoman of the Board of Directors also addressed the issue of the Mandatory Tenders Law and said: "from the moment a government company starts working on a tender and up to the moment it actually buys that same crane, it takes about two-two and a half years. By the time the crane is actually operating, three years have passed since the tender was first published. But a private company can do all that in the matter of several months. I am not asking for an exemption from the requirement to hold a tender, a government company has to continue operating with the same regulation under the Mandatory Tenders Law. But on the other hand, there is a different type of regulation – excessive regulation. I have held the role of regulator and I understand regulation very well, and have no intention of switching sides and saying I want to do away with regulation. But unfortunately many times the regulators do not know how to speak to one another. My expectation is that they allow fair and equal competition, and whenever the excessive regulation can be reduced – to do so".