Israeli chamber, to boost agri & tech investments in PH
Israel now joins the growing list of countries that expressed interest in investing in Philippine agriculture.
Mr. Itamar Gero, the new president of the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ICCP) said that he aims to attract more Israeli investments to the Philippines, focusing on agriculture and information and communications technology, Business World reported.
“It would be ICT and agriculture. Why? Because your country would benefit so much from better IT infrastructure, and better ways of creating local demand for produce,” he said at the sidelines ICCP’s induction of new officers.
“So this is what Israel is really good at. Taking small spaces, putting green houses, putting advanced technology for food and for heating and irrigation.”
The ICCP, organized and founded in 2009, previously named the Philippine-Israel Business Association, presently has a membership of 50 companies, which Mr. Gero wants to grow double within his term.
Mr. Gero, who also spearheads digital marketing firm TrueLogic Online Solutions, Inc., expected trade between Philippines and Israel at “tens of millions” of dollars, depending on various official assessments.
“I can’t give you an accurate number, but what I can say is that in my term we will work on at least doubling it which is not a hard task because it’s still kind of stagnant.”
Apart from ICT and agriculture, he also anticipates Israeli businesses to channel expertise and investment in other sectors including medical care and tourism.
“They are recognizing the Philippines as a viable tourist destination. Israelis used to go to Thailand. Israelis used to go to India. All of a sudden there is an influx of Israelis coming to the Philippines, all the way to Israeli hoteliers coming to see about opening hotels here.”
Keynote speaker, George T. Barcelon, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries President, said on the sidelines that trade and commerce with Israel is relatively small, but developing with the latter focused more on helping micro, small, and medium-sized businesses in the Philippines.
“It’s been growing. I think we’re buying more from them. Our exports are electronic components. They are the ones that assemble it,” he said in the report. “They’re looking at the MSMEs, to invest in small companies.”