PH, Israel sign deal to strengthen economic ties

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 8) — The Philippines can expect more investors after it signed a deal with Israel for the promotion and protection of investments, the trade chief said.

Philippine Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and Israel Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman inked the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) in Jerusalem on Tuesday, the Department of Trade and Industry announced Wednesday.

Under the agreement, the IPPA would cover the "investment protection elements such as national treatment, most favored nation treatment, free transfers, rules-based expropriation and compensation, and investor-state dispute settlement."

Lopez said the latest business pact with Israel could entice more investors to explore opportunities in the local market.

"The Philippines eyes Israel's expertise on innovation, especially in new and smart technologies that will bring about more competitive and efficient products," he said in a statement.

"On the other hand, Israeli investors expressed interest in investing in the infrastructure, agriculture and water, and business process outsourcing sectors in the Philippines," Lopez added.

Industries prioritized under the IPPA are agro-tech, life sciences and healthcare, water technologies, high-technology and semiconductors, cybersecurity, financial technology, defense industry, smart transportation, clean technology, smart manufacturing, and the diamond industry.

The DTI said Lopez is also set to sign within the week an IPPA with the United Arab Emirates.