By: Manila Standard –  September 06, 2018

By pushing to boost the economic partnerships with non-traditional trading partners like Israel, the Philippine government identified several business “complementarities” that resulted in investment pledges, business collaborations and intentions during President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit on Sept. 2 to 5, Malacañang said Wednesday.

This strategy to continuously open investments and employment opportunities from non-traditional trading partners had resulted in securing $82.9 million worth of investments from Israel, the Palace said.

It made the statement even as Duterte praised the disaster response and rehabilitation presentation and viewing of Israel’s equipment on Tuesday, saying he was inspired to replicate it in the Philippines.

The Magen David Adom is Israel’s national organization responsible for the emergency, disaster response, pre-hospital care, and blood services, an equivalent of a Red Cross organization.

During MDA’s demonstration, Duterte said having technologies similar to Israel would be beneficial to the Philippines, especially in times of disaster like terrorist attacks.

Malacañang said the agreements securing the investments were presented to Duterte on Sept. 4.

“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,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

The business agreements signed consist of three Memorandums of Agreement, 11 Memorandums of Understanding and seven Letters of Intent.

These cover the joint venture agreement between Century Properties Inc. and Globe Invest Ltd. for advanced energy optimization management; agriculture and urban farming; prefabricated housing; water desalination and master-planned real estate development projects.

Armscor Global Defense Inc. and EMTAN Karmiel Ltd. had a technological agreement to create a local manufacturing facility for weapons under the license from the latter.

The MOU covers the transfer of know-how in weapons manufacturing.

Stone of David Corp. and Gaia Automotive Industries Ltd. signed an agreement to promote tactical vehicles.

Stone of David also inked a deal with MCTECH RF Technologies Ltd. for military and intelligence products and hardware development.

Century Pacific Food Inc. and Kvuzat Yavne had an MOU on the distributorship of canned tuna products for the Century brand within Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Other MOUs cover collaborations to explore opportunities on security, intelligence data mining, and information technology.

The provision of additional ships and vessels to service the Philippines was also included.

Promotion of an all-water route between Port of Subic Bay and Eilat Port was also agreed upon to support trade and investments as well as develop linkages for micro, small and medium enterprises. MSME cooperation through alliances will also be established to identify business and trade opportunities.

Meanwhile, business intentions from Israeli companies include operation expansions in software and systems development, tourism development, food technology, agriculture, and wastewater treatment projects. There were also intentions to explore opportunities in manufacturing small arms and ammunition.

The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority had an LOI from FoodLab Capital, which covers the building of a FoodTech Acceleration Center within the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport to service the food industry locators of Ceza.

Secretary Raul Lambino of Ceza joined the signing ceremonies. There were also intentions from Assuta Medical Center and I-DEA Ventures Group Inc. to build a medical facility within the area to service the medical needs of locators.

The Philippines’ business delegation to Israel consisted of representatives from Integrated Computer Systems Inc., AMA Education System, Le Soleil Shipping Agencies, Inc., KEREM IT Solutions, Amdocs Philippines Ltd., Rayo Illuminar Corp., Philippine Center For Entrepreneurship Foundation — Go Negosyo, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.

The Israeli companies present during the signing included Verint Systems Ltd., Jerusalem Chamber of Commerce, Eilat Port Company Ltd., HackerU, ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd., EMTAN Karmiel Ltd., Carbyne Ltd., SuperCom, Silver Shadow Advanced Security Systems, TrueLogic Online Solutions, Inc., MIMA TECH, FlyEast, Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce and Israel-Philippines Chamber of Commerce.