Israel, PHL sign USD83-million worth of business deals

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the almost USD83-million worth of business deals signed between the Philippines and Israel during President Rodrigo Duterte’s three-day visit proved the vast investment opportunities available to foreigners in the Philippines.

Duterte capped his Israel visit Wednesday with 14 memorandums of agreement and understanding between the two countries and eight letters of intent from Israeli firms eyeing to invest in the Philippines. “These agreements are a clear indication of the enormous business and investment opportunities in the Philippines available to Israelis,” Lopez said.

“The Philippines is committed to pursue several growth opportunities by strengthening partnerships with emerging economic partners like Israel. Our engagement with them allows us to reinvigorate ties and increase trade between our countries,” he noted.

The administration, through the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), has been pursuing to diversify its market by establishing stronger ties with non-traditional trade partners, like countries from the Middle East.

Lopez said the Philippines is also looking at the technologies developed by Israeli companies for the agriculture sector, particularly for farming, drip irrigation, and milk production among others, as well as artificial intelligence technologies, electronics, and water management, including desalination and recycling.

DTI’s top official likewise noted that the Philippines can learn from Israel’s vibrant startup ecosystem as the country aims to grow this sector. “Our strategy should emphasize the ingenuity and creativity of Filipinos, which will result in a synchronized Philippines’ information and technology roadmap,” he said.