Israel Investors Interested In Philippines PPP

Israeli investors are interested to participate in President Aquino’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program particularly in water and railways projects.

Outgoing Israeli ambassador to the Philippines Zvi A. Vapni said in an interview with Business Bulletin that a business delegation from the Philippines was being organized to visit Israel later this year.

“We have only a $200-million bilateral trade level and that is not good,” Vapni said.

According to Vapni, the problem is that Israel businessmen have very limited knowledge about the Philippines as investment destination. “Israel has big investments in Asia but very few here in the Philippines,” he said.

If ever, they would come in a big way the PPP would be their entry point.

“Israeli businessmen are closely looking at the PPP projects,” he said.

The interests would be in the areas of railways, water, bridges and roads, he said.

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry is sending a delegation this year. Israel, on the other hand, has yet to send an official business delegation.

Vapni, however, said that there have been several businessmen who have been coming here on their own to explore business opportunities.

According to Vapni, he received increasing number of requests from Israeli companies to look for possible match especially in Telcos, Agritech, water technologies and pharmaceuticals.

Among the high-tech Israeli firms in the country include ECI Telecom and Ceragon. A water technology company called MIYA has a water project in Manila. Another field and very promising area is consumer goods from Israel.

Some Israeli brands have set up shops in the country’s high-end malls like FOX (baby clothes), S’AVA (cosmetics) and Max Brenner (a coffee shop).

“More than cash, they are looking for markets,” the ambassador said.

To support this growing interest, the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ICCP) was organized to help promote awareness on both sides. (BCM)

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