Cebu, PHILIPPINES, Nov 19, 2014 – “This is a match without competition as both countries strive to achieve high levels in terms of economic growth,” extolled Israeli Ambassador Effie Ben Matityau, Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines, who opened up the The Economic and Trade Mission of the Embassy of Israel alongside Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Alfredo Yao, and Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Teresa Chan, in Cebu.
Over the two days of 17th and 18th of November, seven Israeli companies showcased emerging technologies in water management and agriculture, whilst exploring investment opportunities and business partnerships.
“We wanted to translate the relationship of both countries, which initially stemmed during the World War 2, when your country provided shelter and rescue to the Jewish people and being one of the countries that voted for the establishment of Israel, to economic opportunities,” Matityau said. He hoped this Trade mission would boost the trade between both countries. While trade has continued to grow between Israel and the Philippines since the 1958 signing of the Friendship Treaty, it has been dwarfed by Israels other trading partners in the Americas and Europe. Israel exports almost eight times what it imports from the Philippines, most of which is technology.
Doron Hemo, representing the Israeli Ministry of Economy, stressed the opportunity for the Philippines to import Israeli water and agro-technology, which he noted was in line with one of the government’s mandates outlined in the Philippine Agriculture Medium Strategic Plan for 2020. Israel is home to world-leading water management, extraction, desalination and recycling technologies, which service a population of more than 8 million in a largely arid land. Despite little fertile land suitable for agriculture, Israel has become a mostly self-sufficient food producer.
One of the keynote speakers was Gilad Peled, Director of the Water, Environment and Agro-Technology Department of the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute who discussed Israel’s water and agro-technology sectors, and saw potential in a growing partnership of knowledge sharing, and capacity building in the Philippine agricultural sector, which could boost exports of primary produce.
Other areas of interest flagged by the Hemo included security technologies and telecommunications.
CCCI’s Teresa Chan welcomed the Trade Mission, citing the interest shown by the Israeli delegation in developing agro-tech who help grow the industry and increase farmer’s incomes.