Secretary of Trade and Industry Ramon M. Lopez and Israel Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman signed the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement at the Israel’s Ministry of Finance in Jerusalem on June 7, 2022.
The IPPA with Israel provides a key opportunity to tap into the industries of agro-tech, life sciences and healthcare, water technologies, high-technology and semiconductors, cybersecurity, financial technology, defense industry, smart transportation, clean technology, smart manufacturing, and the diamond industry.
Secretary Lopez sees the IPPA as an important arrangement in encouraging more investments.
The trade chief said, “The Philippines eyes Israel’s expertise on innovation, especially in new and smart technologies that will bring about more competitive and efficient products. On the other hand, Israeli investors expressed interest in investing in the infrastructure, agriculture and water, and business process outsourcing (BPO) sectors in the Philippines.”
Philippine Ambassador to Israel Macairog Alberto highlighted that the investment agreement lays down the framework for a closer investment relation between the countries deepening our shared historical ties.
The IPPA covers the investment protection elements such as national treatment, most favored nation treatment, free transfers, rules-based expropriation and compensation, and investor-state dispute settlement.
Sec. Lopez reiterated a more conducive investment environment between the Philippines and Israel this coming administration, “Israeli investors can certainly look forward to maximizing the gains from the game-changing legislative amendments such as the liberalization of the public services act, retail trade liberalization law, and the foreign investments act and now is the most opportune time to do so.”
In 2020, Israel ranked 34th as the Philippines’ trading partner, 39th export market, and 31st import supplier. The approved investments from Israel primarily come from the manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles industries.
Sec. Lopez was also accompanied by Ambassador Macairog Alberto, Governor Marjorie Ramos-Samaniego, DA Undersecretary Cheryl Caballero, Undersecretary Flordelona Amate, Consul General Reichel Quinones, and Vice Consul Teri Bautista. The signing will be followed by a Business Forum and several business meetings to make investments happen in the Philippines.
Two other agreements are signed with Israel, i.e., the launch of the Joint Economic Commission and the Cooperation Agreement with the Israel Innovation Authority. Secretary Lopez will also be signing within the week an IPPA with the United Arab Emirates, which is also a party to the Abraham accords.