Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez delivered the keynote address at the Philippines-Israel Business Forum at the Carlton Tel Aviv on 08 June 2022. Secretary Lopez highlighted the economic reforms and initiatives the Duterte Administration undertook to further boost the Philippine economy by improving the ease of doing business, such as increasing incentives for investors, lowering capital requirements in the retail sector, and allowing full foreign equity in industries (e.g. telcos, shipping, airlines, railways, subways, etc.), among others.
Philippine Ambassador to Israel Macairog S. Alberto welcomes the Forum delegates and congratulates Secretary Lopez and his team for a successful visit to Israel. (Tel Aviv PE photo)Secretary Lopez also invited Israeli firms to locate their regional hubs in the Philippines and take advantage of exciting opportunities in the country’s electronics, automotive, aerospace, ecommerce, and innovation industries. Sectoral presentations were also delivered on the areas of (1) electronics, innovation, and start-ups, (2) agri-fisheries industrialization, and (3) IT-BPM and outsourcing.
Three Israeli companies then signed with the Secretary Letters of Intent to expand their operations in the Philippines, which will create more jobs in the country’s agriculture, renewable energy, outsourcing, and software sectors.
Philippine Ambassador Macairog S. Alberto welcomed the signing of three important bilateral documents during the Secretary’s visit, saying “This is testament to the Secretary’s dedication to pushing Philippine-Israel economic ties to the next level.” The Secretary signed an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) with Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman; an MOU on Economic and Trade Cooperation (JEC) with Economy Minister Orna Barbivai; and an Innovation Cooperation Agreement with Israel Innovation Authority Chief Scientist Ami Appelbaum.
The Forum was attended by around 60 representatives from 30 Israeli firms and companies; and was followed by one-on-one meetings and business matching sessions between Filipino and Israeli firms.
Secretary Lopez and members of his delegation also held discussions with Israeli firms offering innovative products and processes, particularly for modernizing and increasing the productivity of Philippine agriculture.
From Tel Aviv, Secretary Lopez traveled to Dubai to also hold bilateral meetings there, highlighting once more the exciting opportunities the Abraham Accords are ushering in for the Philippines and the Middle East.