Israel wants to expand student exchange program with PH

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ISRAEL’S ambassador to Manila has affirmed Tel Aviv’s continued aid program for the Philippines and sought to expand its student exchange program while raising the possibility of spurring investments in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, the Department of Finance (DoF) said.

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In a statement on Wednesday, the DoF said Israel is particularly focused on supporting the development of the local agriculture sector by proposing to expand its current exchange program for Filipino students who want to learn from Tel Aviv’s expertise and advanced technologies in agriculture.

In a recent meeting with Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd, Israel Ambassador to Manila Ephraim Ben Matityau also discussed possible investments by Israeli companies in the BPO industry and private-sector startups in the information technology (IT) sector, it added.

Matityau highlighted a program he piloted in cooperation with the Commission on Higher Education to develop Filipino “leaders of change” trained in utilizing Tel Aviv’s technological innovations that made agriculture a profitable venture for Israel’s richest entrepreneurs.

Israel, for one, invented drip irrigation, which allows dry lands to produce multiple yields, he said.

Under the exchange student program, 550 college students from 29 agriculture schools outside Metro Manila will be sent to Israel each year to undergo the training.

According to the DoF, Dominguez agreed with Matityau on the need to explore financial cooperation agreements between the two countries to facilitate trade and investments via Ashra, Tel Aviv’s export credit agency.

“We will certainly support all your efforts, Mr. Ambassador. I’m sure, at one point or another, this will come before us when financing is required, or when projects are required to have the approval of the ICC, of which I am the chairman. ICC is the Investment Coordinating Committee. So you have our support 100 percent,” Dominguez said during the meeting.

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