PHL-Israel partnership on ICT, defense up for talks in Duterte’s visit

Potential cooperation deals in the areas of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and defense as well as on labor are up for discussion during the high-level visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Israel in September.

This was disclosed Wednesday by Israel Ambassador to the Philippines Effie Ben Matityau in a press conference here.

Matityau, who was in Davao City for the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Mayor Sara Duterte for a school project, said the ICT is a major talking point for the country’s telecommunications.

“There is a lot of action there and we are going to see some of the contracts signed by those organizations. I know that some of the key leaders of the business community are going to be there because of that ICT,” Matityau told reporters.

Matityau said he is also expecting deals between Filipino groups and Israel business community, noting that members of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCCI) are expected to join President Duterte’s delegation.

“We have a very successful business community in the Philippines.–very energized and very mainstream. Israel is a high-tech environment…we have a very sophisticated technological environment,” Matityau said.

Matityau said Duterte’s visit would be “promising” given the number of joint venture contracts and investments to be signed.

Sealed business partnerships between the two countries, he pointed out, will benefit Israel and the Philippines.

“We don’t have competition and we can only compliment with one another and create partnerships,” he pointed out.

On the area of labor, Matityau admitted it would be a sensitive issue because it involves the Overseas Filipino Workers. He said a regulation is expected to benefit Filipinos in Israel in terms of improved salary and benefits.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said President Duterte is set to visit Israel and Jordan on September 2 to 5. Duterte will be the first Philippine President to visit Israel since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries in 1957.

Roque said Duterte will also meet with Israel President Reuven Rivlin “to discuss development cooperation and the close historical and people-to-people ties between the two countries.” PNA