A senior Israeli business delegation consisting of 15 executives representing diverse sectors of key industries visited the Philippines in February.
Headed by Ran Cohen, a former Israeli industry and trade minister and current President of the Israel-Asia Chamber of Commerce, the delegation is looking at investment prospects in major industries. These include: machinery, security, real estate, water treatment and technology, agriculture, food production, aviation, business process outsourcing, shipping, tourism and diamonds.
“Two-way trade between us and Israel is unfortunately just between US$200 million to US$250 million last year. We intend to triple that,” said Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) President Miguel Varela, during his meeting with the delegation at a business matching session and forum.
“These numbers can grow at an unprecedented pace in the next few years,” Varela added, citing growing interest from both sides to boost trade and investment relations. He alsonoted that much of the trade between Israel and the Philippines is mostly in favour of Israel.
Also accompanying the delegation was DoronHemo, Israel’s Trade Attache for Taiwan, Singapore and Philippines. “We don’t have a commercial attaché in the Philippines and we would like to have one. Right now, we want to expand our trade considering that we have reached US$2 billion in two way trade with areas like Taiwan,” commented Hemo.
Israel’s two-way trade with the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) has reached US$28 billion.
One of the Philippine provinces that welcomed the delegation was Zamboanga city. President of the local business chamber, Pocholo Soliven, met with the delegation and government officials and discussed trade opportunities in Taguig City. Cohen was accompanied by Israel’s Ambassador to the Philippines, Menashe Bar-On, and Generoso Calonge, the Philippine Ambassador to Israel.
Soliven, a well-respected business leader in Mindanao, underscored the strategic location of Zamboanga as the “Front Door” to the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore economic growth corridor.
This area will serve as a vital link once the ASEAN integration is realised over the next few years, according to local economic experts.Please login or register to see the full article