Israel, Philippines Sign Agreement for Attracting Foreign Investment

Economy and industry ministries in both countries also agree in principal to establish a joint economic committee to help strengthen economic and commercial ties between them

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, centre, visits the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, Monday, Sept 3, 2018
Oded Balilty,AP

Israel is tightening economic cooperation with The Philippines, despite controversial remarks by its president, Rodrigo Duterte, who is paying a state visit.

On Monday, Economy Minister Eli Cohen and Ramon Lopez, The Philippines’ secretary of trade and industry, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for mutual cooperation among their agencies to promote foreign investment in both countries.

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The deal is meant to strengthen the ability of Israel and The Philippines to encourage foreign investment by companies from other countries by exchange of information, providing business assistance to companies and cooperation within regional or international organizations. The memorandum is thus part of the broader move to strengthen economic and diplomatic ties between the two nations.

“Signing the MOU in the field of foreign investment constitutes a paving stone in the strengthening of economic relations between Israel and one of the largest and most developed economies in Asia," said Cohen, adding that “It is an additional step in advancing the economic stability and status of Israel. I welcome the step and am sure it will contribute greatly to industry and the economy.”

The economy and industry ministries in both countries also agreed in principal to move to establish a joint economic committee to help strengthen economic and commercial ties between the countries.

The Philippines has the seventh largest population by country in Asia with over 105 million residents. It has been one of the fastest growing economies of the past decade, expanding at an average annual rate of above 6%.