THE Philippines and Israel have signed the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) to further boost bilateral economic relations between the two countries, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said on Wednesday.

The agreement was officially signed by Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and Israel Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman in Jerusalem, Israel on June 7, 2022.

The IPPA with Israel provides a key opportunity to tap into the industries of agro-tech, life sciences and health care, water technologies, high technology and semiconductors, cybersecurity, financial technology, defense industry, smart transportation, clean technology, smart manufacturing and the diamond industry.

Lopez sees the IPPA as an important arrangement in encouraging more investments.

"The Philippines eyes Israel's expertise on innovation, especially in new and smart technologies that will bring about more competitive and efficient products. On the other hand, Israeli investors expressed interest in investing in the infrastructure, agriculture and water, and business process outsourcing (BPO) sectors in the Philippines," the Trade chief said.

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Philippine Ambassador to Israel Macairog Alberto highlighted that the investment agreement lays down the framework for a closer investment relation between the countries, deepening their shared historical ties.

The IPPA covers 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 reiterated a more conducive investment environment between the Philippines and Israel this coming administration. "Israeli investors can certainly look forward to maximizing the gains from the game-changing legislative amendments such as the liberalization of the public services act, retail trade liberalization law, and the foreign investments act and now is the most opportune time to do so," he added.

Two other agreements were also signed with Israel: the launch of the Joint Economic Commission; and the cooperation agreement with the Israel Innovation Authority.

Lopez will also be signing within the week an IPPA with the United Arab Emirates, which is also a party to the Abraham accords.