Israel-Philippines

Trade in goods

In recent years we witness of an increase in the volume of the bilateral trade between Israel and Philippines. In 2019 the total volume of trade in goods was 338 Million USD, almost 65% higher than what it was in 2015.

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Israel’s export to the Philippines in 2019 was 231.4 million USD and Philippines was the 3rd export destination of Israel in South East Asia. The Israeli export was mainly composed of Electronic equipment including semiconductors, Medical & Optical Devices, Agriculture products including fertilizers and advances equipment.

The Israeli import from the Philippines in 2019 was 106.6 million USD and was also composed of Electronic equipment and medical devices, but also Food and Processed food products, plastic, rubber and consumer goods.

As the demand for Israeli high-tech products in Philippines and for Philippine made products in Israel is high, the potential is yet fulfilled.  and in next year we will hopefully see the trade grows higher.

Trade in services

In recent years we can see also the increase of trade in services between both countries.

Israel is well-known for its export of high-tech services and software as AI based solutions, big data analytics, Machine learning, billing systems and in recent year also for its Cyber security and Fintech exports. Many are already implemented here in Philippines.

Philippines BPO services are well known worldwide and also in Israel. In recent year Israeli companies collaborates with BPO service providers in Philippines.

Also, about 30,000 OFW (Filipino Oversee Workers) are employed in Israel mainly as caregivers and contribute to the bilateral cooperation of both countries. Filipino caregivers are well-known almost in every household in Israel and their work is highly recognized and appreciated.

Investments

In recent years we can see mutual investments between both countries. Israeli entrepreneurs invest in areas as tourism, real-estate, while Filipino businessmen invest in the Israeli start-up ecosystem.

Tourism

As the holy land, Israel is positioned as an important tourism destination for Philippine Christian communities. But not only religion brings Filipino tourists to Israel, in recent year we see more and more tourist discover the Startup vibrant scene as well as the popular culinary and leisure scenes in Israel.

For Israelis, Philippines is a rising destination of tourism in Asia-Pacific region, and we witness a steady growth of the influx of Israeli tourists to Philippines in recent years.

Economic Framework

The Economic framework of Israel and Philippines is based on mutual agreements signed between both countries in order to promote the cooperation in various sectors.

Here is a partial list of the agreements –  

  • Visa exemption* – since 1969
  • Avoidance of double taxation agreement – since 1992
  • Cooperation in Agriculture – 1994
  • Cooperation in Telecommunication – 1997
  • Mutual cooperation of Customs authorities – since 2010
  • Cooperation in Tourism – since 2015
  • Cooperation in Aviation – since 2015
  • Investment cooperation – since 2018
  • Cooperation in Science & Technology – since 2018
  • Cooperation in Foreign Labor Issues – since 2018

* Philippines is one of  few countries in Asia which its citizens are exempt from issuing Visitor’s  Visa to Israel. This is due to the good relations of both countries.

Official visits

In September 2018 President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led a successful and historical visit to Israel

along with a delegation of more than 100 members, among them ministers and officials from the governmental sector and industry leaders of Philippines business sector.

The visit highlights included G2G discussion between both governments, signing ceremonies on mutual agreements to boost cooperation in trade, investments, tourism and labor issues, and  business seminars participated by industry leaders from both sides.

Useful links

Embassy of Israel in Manila Website

Israel in Philippines Facebook Page