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Freeman Cebu Business

Israel strengthens ties with Cebu businesses

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  The Israeli government has strengthened ties with the Cebu business sector, expecting more join venture agreements particularly in the fields of water, energy, agriculture and innovation.

Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss was in Cebu for a two-day visit expressing Israeli’s commitment to pursue stronger ties with local government units (LGUs), government agencies and the business sector.

Fluss, together with Tomer Heyi, counselor and head of economic and commercial mission—Philippines met with the leaders of Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) Tuesday night to discuss more collaborations with the Israeli trades, particularly in innovation, water and energy.

In an interview with Fluss yesterday morning, he said an Israeli business delegation will arrive in Cebu at the latter part of this year to explore opportunities, including forging joint ventures with Cebuano businessmen.

Likewise, the Ambassador also mentioned organizing a trade mission delegation from Cebu to Israel soon.

Known for its technological advancement, Fluss said his government is also intensifying the implementation of “Creating Bridges of Innovation” program between the two countries. Wherein Israeli technology can be brought in to the country and be operated by local entities.

Fluss specifically mentioned Israel’s interest in water desalination technology to help Cebu address its looming water shortage, as well as sophisticated technologies in energy, and agriculture.

According to Heyi, with the Embassy’s  closer ties with Cebu, including the business sector, the Island Province will be much highlighted the Israel especially in trade promotions. Heyi added that Cebuanos’ fluency in English is also an advantage in attracting investment interest from Israel.

Fluss also mentioned his recent courtesy call with President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr., saying the new administration and Israel government will collaborate more seriously in the areas of agriculture and water technology.

In his two-day visit in Cebu (June 14-15, 2022) Fluss also met with regional heads of National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA-7), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-7), Department of Agriculture (DA-7), Department of Science and Technology (DOST-7), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda-7).

Facilitated by the Israeli Consulate office in Cebu headed by Consul Emily Chioson, Fluss also explored Cebu’s rich culture and heritage.

Aside from water, energy and innovation, Fluss also said Israel is also interested in forging further collaborations with Cebu in the areas of cybersecurity, capacity building, healthcare and few other sectors.

In 2019, Israel and the Philippines total volume of trade in goods stood at US$338 million, almost 65 percent higher than what it was in 2015.

Israel is well-known for its export of high-tech services and software as AI (Artificial Intelligence) based solutions, big data analytics, Machine learning, billing systems and in recent year also for its Cyber security and Fintech exports. Many are already implemented here in Philippines.

In September 2018 President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led a successful and historical visit to Israel along with a delegation of more than 100 members, among them ministers and officials from the governmental sector and industry leaders of Philippines business sector.

The visit highlighted G2G discussion between both governments, signing ceremonies on mutual agreements to boost cooperation in trade, investments, tourism and labor issues, and  business seminars participated by industry leaders from both sides.

ECONOMY

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