A TOTAL of 21 agreements with an investment value of $82.9 million were signed between private firms from the Philippines and Israel during President Rodrigo Duterte's four-day visit to Jerusalem.
The agreements - three memoranda of agreements (MOA), 11 memoranda of understanding (MOU), and seven letters of intent (LOI) - are expected to generate some 790 jobs for Filipinos.
Duterte, who witnessed the signing of the business deals, assured Israeli companies that he will find ways to curb bureaucracy and make it easier for investors to put up businesses in the Philippines.
"I'm going to make it simpler and simpler, the rules, when I go back. And I want it really to be graft-free," the President said in a speech delivered in Israel on Tuesday, September 4.
"I tell you, if you are into the business in the Philippines, there are rules to be followed. And if there is anyone of you here now, and I give you my guarantee [that if] you here would do business in the Philippines and you are given a hard time, especially if you are being milked or extorted, tell me," he added.
Century Properties Inc. and Globe Invest Ltd. signed a MOA for advanced energy optimization management, advanced agriculture and urban farming, prefabricated housing, water desalination, and master-planned real estate development projects.
A MOA for marketing and promotion of tactical vehicles, including technology transfer was signed between Stone of David Corporation and Gaia Automotive Industries Ltd.
Stone of David Corporation also inked a MOA with MCTECH RF Technologies Ltd. for cooperation on the development of military and intelligence products and hardware.
Century Pacific Food Inc. and Kvuzat Yavne signed an MOU for the distribution of canned tuna products within Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
An MOU between Integrated Computer Systems Inc. and Verint Systems Ltd. was signed to explore mutually beneficial opportunities for collaboration on security, intelligence data mining and information technology.
The Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship-7 Go Negosyo inked an MOU with Israel-Philippines Chamber of Commerce to jointly develop and undertake programs, projects, and advocacy initiatives related to the Kapatid Mentor ME Program.
For the exchange of information on commerce, industry, market updates, and identification of business and trade opportunities, an MOU was signed between the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce.
The PCCI-National Capital Region and Jerusalem Chamber of Commerce also signed an MOU that was meant to promote, strengthen, and expand trade, economic, scientific and technological cooperation, and other business relations between member-organizations of the two parties.
An MOU to promote the all-water route between the Port of Subic Bay and the Eilat Port was inked between the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and Eilat Port Company Ltd.
To develop cybersecurity-related certification courses in the Philippines, AMA Education Systems signed an MOU with HackerU.
Le Soleil Shipping Agencies Inc. and ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. also signed an MOU that would provide additional ships or vessels to service the country's local and international shipping requirement.
For the manufacture of weapons in the Philippines that is projected to generate 200 jobs, the Armscor Global Defense Inc. signed an MOU with EMTAn Karmiel Ltd. The project has an estimated cost of $10 million.
KEREM IT Solutions signed two MOUs with Carbyne Ltd. and Supercom, which are meant to allow the promotion and purchase of their products.
Amdocs Philippines Ltd. signed an LOI to expand operations in software development and support services in the Philippines, its hub in the Asia-Pacific Region.
Another LOI was signed by TrueLogic Online Solutions Inc. in a bid to expand operations in software, systems development, and support services. This has an estimated cost of $500,000 and is projected to provide 100 jobs by 2019.
Silver Shadow Advanced Security Systems and Rayo Illuminar Corporation signed an LOI to explore opportunities in the manufacturing and refurbishment of small arms and ammunition. The project, with an estimated value of $50 million, would create 160 jobs by next year.
An LOI to expand operations in the field of agriculture and wastewater and sewerage treatment projects, with an estimated cost of $20 million, was signed by MIMA Tech and I Gilan Group. This would generate 300 jobs by 2019.
An LOI submitted by FoodLab Capital seeks to expand operations by building the FoodTech Acceleration Center worth $1 million within the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport (CSEZFP) to service the food industry locators of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority.
Assuta Medical Center and I-DEA Ventures Group Inc. also signed an LOI that would expand operations in the Philippines by building a P1-million state-of-the art medical center within the CSEZFP to service the medical needs of the locators of the CEZA. (SunStar Philippines)