Israeli ready to strengthen trade relations with Manila
NEW Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss
Israel’s new Ambassador to the Philippines, Ilan Fluss, looks forward to Israel advancing its partnership and friendship with the Philippines, especially in the areas of innovation and technology.
“My vision is to see a very close partnership in the field of innovation and technology,” the Israeli envoy told a Manila Times roundtable.
The envoy said his country had in fact started to increase its representation in the Philippines following the opening of a consulate in Davao last year, bringing Israel’s representations in the Philippines to four.
âI just returned from Davao last week. I was there for an official visit for three days. And it shows that we are now fully represented in the Philippines. We have an embassy in Manila, we have our honorary consulates in Cebu and now in Davao, “says Fluss.
The Philippines has four representations in Israel. These include an embassy in Tel Aviv and consulates in Ashdod, Haifa and Jerusalem.
“So basically we are trying to move the relationship forward and things are working really well. We are very well accepted and there is a lot of interest. We are working hard to make sure that really happens,” he said. he declares. noted.
He pointed out that relations between the two countries have taken a big step forward with the historic visit of President Rodrigo Duterte in 2018, becoming the first active Philippine president to visit Israel.
“He not only came to Israel on a pilgrimage to the holy lands. There were political issues and many others, but I think it was a very strong signal for us as a government,” he said. declared the emissary.
“It’s time to increase cooperation. I can say that this will be reflected in my priorities, where Israel will also start today in terms of what we (can) share with the Philippines,” Fluss said.
The Israeli ambassador said the Philippines could learn from the experience of foreign companies that have set up research and development centers in Israel seeking to expand their business center overseas.
As a global innovation hub, he said, Israel has attracted multinational companies looking for new technologies or buying high-tech start-ups in Israel.
Currently, Fluss said there are 350 multinational companies established in Israel, including a growing number of unicorns.
âWe have over 50 unicorns (private startups valued at at least $ 1 billion) and their numbers are growing rapidly,â the envoy said.
The ambassador said Israel is looking to expand its overseas investments beyond the traditional destinations of Europe and the United States, to include the Philippines and other Asian countries.
With a population of 10 million, the Israeli envoy said their market was not large enough to serve all of these technologies on its home soil. “This is why the Israelis are always vigilant.” âWe need to create a lot more partnerships in the tech arena, involving more of some of the Israeli entrepreneurs here in the Philippines,â Fluss said.
âWe need to develop new technologies that are already planned from the start to find solutions to the challenges here in the Philippines, not only for the local Israeli market, but to use it with Filipino entrepreneurs,â he added.
He highlighted the availability of English-speaking training and education institutions and human resources as additional factors that will benefit the Philippines.
âThis is my main goal for the years to come,â he said.
The envoy said that last year Israel opened an economic and trade office in Manila, headed by a representative from its Ministry of Economy, to focus on building trade relations with the private and government sector.
âThe day-to-day implementation of this is to bring companies together because in the long run they need to see profit, need to see their goal, they need to bring income to their shareholders,â said Fluss.
âWe have also, for the past year, a representative from the Israeli Ministry of Defense to also focus on defense and security cooperation issues, generally seeking to focus on the technology issue as well. Israel is a source of a lot of defense technologies and systems, âhe said.