Israel eyes tie-ups with PH, Cebu businesses

Dr. Effie Ben Matityau, ambassador of Israel to the Philippines, discusses how Israel and the Philippines can work together during a briefing on Friday. (CDN PHOTO/ JUNJIE MENDOZA)


AS the Philippines continues to move up the economic ladder, the nation of Israel has offered to complement the country’s economy by helping develop different sectors deemed critical to development.

Dr. Effie Ben Matityau, ambassador of Israel to the Philippines, said he sees great potential for partnerships in the aspects of water management, education, and information and communication technology (ICT).

“(One of the) things that Israel does well is to innovate the economy, coming up with cutting edge innovations,” he said during a press conference in Cebu City last Friday, following the Colors of Israel Forum held at Marco Polo Plaza.

Matityau said Cebu, like other major regional capitals in the Philippines, is also moving into the “new economy,” described as the result of the transition from a manufacturing-based economy to a service-based economy.

“We have the traditional and the new. Agriculture, which is traditional, for example, has to go into the new era to improve food supply and food production,” he said, adding that food security as well as water management can be areas of partnership between Israel and Cebu.

The diplomat said Israel also has technology and management ideas which they can share to Cebu, particularly in cyber security, which is a hot topic of discussion among businesses today.

He also said that they are also looking at investing in start-ups and Israeli companies, who are interested to venture into businesses with local partners.

Among the most popular mobile apps used by people today—community-based traffic and navigation app, Waze, and mobile messenger, Viber—were developed in Israel.

“That is what I hope to achieve. Israel is the land of creation, they say, but it is also the land of creativity. This is the formula we can close in as a whole message,” said Matityau.

David Elefant, vice president of the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ICCP), said more and more Israeli companies are looking at doing business in the Philippines, particularly in business process outsourcing and cyber security.

The ICCP currently has 86 members, mostly present in Metro Manila with a few located in Cebu.

Elefant said the chamber hopes to expand its reach in the Philippines, beginning with Cebu as it signed a sisterhood agreement last Friday with the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), represented by its president Melanie Ng.