Philippine Pavilion Wows Crowd at Israel's International Tourism Fair

11 February 2016, Tel Aviv, State of Israel – The Philippine pavilion at the annual International Mediterranean Tourism Market (IMTM) instantly stood out as a crowd winner during the fair's 22nd edition, which was recently held at the Tel Aviv Convention Center.

 

The panoramic views of destinations adorning the pavilion, beautiful and upbeat videos, rich taste of Filipino delicacies, and the variety of song and dance performances, including flair bartending, attracted hundreds of visitors and showed them that, truly, "It's More Fun in the Philippines."

 

 

The Philippine pavilion was formally opened by Department of Tourism Undersecretary for Tourism Development Benito C. Bengzon, Jr., who led the first DOT delegation to the IMTM, and Philippine Ambassador to Israel Neal Imperial.  Joining them were other DOT officials and partner travel agencies from the Philippines such as Annset Holidays, Inc., Flyeast Philippines, Intas Destination Management, Inc., Maman Aviation, Ltd., and Travel Experts, Inc.

Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Gideon Levin also visited the Philippine pavilion during the first day of the travel fair and was delighted to watch the "Tinikling" performed by members of the Filipino community in Israel.

  

 

DOT officials also held a Country Presentation on the second day of the fair.  Around 50 travel and tour agencies, including business organizations, attended the event.  Through videos, photos, and cultural performances, DOT officials showed why the Philippines is the next best destination for Israelis in Asia.

 

 

 This is the fourth time that the Philippines has participated in the IMTM.  Previous participations were done through partnership between the Philippine Embassy and the Israel-Philippines Tourism Chamber.  However, this is the first time that a Philippine pavilion was organized and led by DOT which has made Israel as one of its priority markets.

 

In an interview with the Israeli media, Undersecretary Bengzon said: "We are trying to position the Philippines as one of the newest, most exciting, and most fun destination in Asia.  Last year we had about 12,000 tourists from Israel and we grew by about 34 or 35 percent.  So for us, this is a very good sign.  It's an indication that the Israeli outbound travelers who, by the way, are very very sophisticated are starting to see the potential of the Philippines as an exciting destination in Asia." --

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN EMERGING MARKETS”: THE FOREIGN TRADE ADMINISTRATION AT THE ISRAELI MINISTRY OF ECONOMY AND INDUSTRY HOLDS 2nd ANNUAL CONFERENCE


The second annual Foreign Trade Conference hosted by the Foreign Trade Administration at the Ministry of Economy and Industry was held today in Tel Aviv, with the theme: "Business Opportunities in Emerging Markets.”

 

“Exports are the engine driving the economy,” said Ohad Cohen, Head of the Foreign Trade Administration at the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry, who opened the event. “In addition to exports, we are focusing on emerging markets. The leading economies of Europe and the U.S. are still very significant, but there are also new awakening lions, such as Indonesia.”

 

Cohen also commented on the recent slowdown in export activities. “The reason for the slowdown in exports is, first and foremost, that there are not enough new exporters entering the market and we are trying to fix this in three ways: by expanding exports by 50% to $135 billion, by widening the variety of exports, and by helping Israeli companies penetrate new markets.”

 

 

“We are not only troubled by the growth rate in exports, but also by the fact that over the past decade, there has been a worrying concentration, both in target markets and in the number of exporters themselves,” Amit Lang, Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry, told conference participants during his opening remarks. “To counter this phenomenon, we are expanding our geographical presence in Asia -- so for example, we’ve increased the number of economic attaches there, which we’re doing in Latin America as well, and we want to increase our support for exports in these areas. In addition, we want to enlarge our funds for providing aid to exporters. Our 2016 budget for this is larger than our 2014/2015 budget.”

 

Alzbeta Klein, Global Co-Head, IFC Investment Fund of the World Bank Group, also participated in the conference, signing an agreement between the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank and the State of Israel: “I’m delighted to be here today to sign the agreement between Israel and the International Finance Corporation for a very exciting program called TechEmerge,” said Klein. “We are looking at companies from Israel and elsewhere to be able to bring their technology to where it is needed most – emerging markets where there is an opportunity, where there is a scale and where there is a chance to do something which hasn’t been done before.”

 

The keynote speaker at the conference was Abby Joseph Cohen, President of the Global Markets Institute and Senior Investment Strategist at Goldman Sachs. Joseph Cohen presented an overview of global economic trends and their influence on the economies of the U.S., Israel and the world in general.

 

Joseph Cohen praised Israel’s position regarding R&D funding: “Which countries are at the top in terms of spending on R&D as a percentage of GDP? Israel is number one. One of the things that is so clear is that in countries where there is an economic policy to grow by being well educated and have sophisticated technology, these countries are doing well in the global community. One other area in which Israel excels is the following: researchers. People in science and technology as a percentage of population - Israel is number one. There is an enormous investment not just in equipment, not just in so-called basic research, but also an investment in people.”

 

Economic attachés from the Foreign Trade Administration posted in markets such as China, India, Brazil and others also presented Israeli exporters and investors with opportunities to increase their activities and penetrate new markets. These economic emissaries, situated in key trade centers around the world, help exporters and Israeli business entities break into new markets and locate international investments. At the conference, the attachés met with businesspeople, entrepreneurs and exporters interested in penetrating foreign markets or identifying new avenues of export.

 

Other participants at the conference included Ms. Yuan Zhou, Senior Vice President of the Credit Management Corporation Creditease, China; Mr. Andile Khumalo, Chief Investment Officer at MSG Afrika Investment Holdings; Mr. Marcos Holanda, President of the Bank for the Development of Northeast Brazil and Tzahi Malah, CEO of Ashra, Israel Foreign Trade Risks Insurance Corporation Ltd., as well as other senior executives from leading companies.

 

 Photo: Shmulik Solomon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Africa You Didn’t Know.

 

Africa is a giant continent with no less than 54 independent nations, yet many people consider “Africa” as a single unit. Nothing could be further from the truth, as Dr. Ayo Salami explained to his audience on Sunday, at a private meeting held at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange for investors, accountants and lawyers. Dr. Salami, a distinguished graduate of the London School of Economics represents the Duet Group which controls assets to the tune of about $5 billion. He came to Tel Aviv for one day, specifically to deliver his lecture.

 

The event was hosted by the Israel-Africa Chamber of Commerce and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. The President of the Chamber, Mr. Eli Avidar introduced the speaker and welcomed the guests.

 

Dr. Salami gave a broad overview of the “dark Continent”, surprising the guests with many startling statistics, including the fact that the world’s fastest growing and most consistently successful economy over the past years is not China, not India, but Botswana.

 

 

Over 1 billion people live in Africa, speaking over 500 languages in the 54 countries. There are many anomalies, such as that the most successful country – Botswana – borders one of the worst failed states – Zimbabwe.

 

In his fascinating presentation, Dr. Salami focused on Nigeria, a powerhouse by any standards. He touched briefly on what he termed “lies by omission” by the media: leaving out facts that should be part of all responsible reporting, thus misleading the public who might otherwise have a much better-informed view of Africa. No one left without new insights into Africa, its economy and the startling investment opportunities in so many countries there.

 

Africa – it’s not what you thought.

 

Photo  Kobi Fuks

 

 

 

 

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ISRAEL AND PANAMA COMPLETE NEGOTIATIONS ON FREE TRADE AGREEMENT

 

In 2016, Panama Will Join the List Of Countries with which Israel Enjoys Free Trade Agreements, Including the US, the EU, AFTA Countries, Canada, Turkey, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay

 

 

JERUSALEM –November 26th, 2015 – Israel concluded negotiations with Panama on a free trade agreement: an Israeli delegation headed by the Foreign Trade Administration at the Israeli Ministry of Economy which included seven representatives from relevant government ministries held the fourth round of talks in Panama City between November16th -19th, 2015 and succeeded in bridging the remaining gaps between the sides and completing the talks.

 

Panama enjoys free trade agreements with several countries, including the US, the EU, Canada, AFTA countries, Singapore, Taiwan, Peru, Colombia, Chile and Mexico. The free trade agreement with Panama will put Israel in a similar position regarding trade benefits.

 

The agreement, which will include a clause on the services sector, represents another springboard for Israeli companies in the service industry (a field comprising 30% of all Israeli exports). Israeli companies will now be able to participate in this sector in Panama -- with an emphasis on software, communications, information security, engineering and research and development – and thus enjoy the potential of this and related markets. Negotiations took place within the framework of the Israeli Ministry of Economy's policy of expanding exports from Israel to new markets and the policy established in May, 2013 of tightening relations with Latin American countries.

 

In this latest round of talks, several work groups convened to discuss the following subjects: access to markets, customs and rules of origin, services, investments, protection of vegetation and livestock, trade obstacles and institutional issues. The agreement includes total reduction of customs on all industrial products (some will be reduced gradually over several years), partial lifting of tariffs on agricultural products and benefits for the export of services in various fields. The agreement is expected to take effect at the end of 2016.

 

With talks successfully concluded, Panama will join the list of countries with which Israel has signed trade agreements: the EU – since 1975, US – 1985, AFTA (Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Norway, and Iceland) – 1992, Canada – 1997, Turkey – 1997, Mexico – 1999, MERCOSUR (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay) – 2007, Colombia – (signed in 2013 but yet to be ratified by the Colombian government).

 

Ohad Cohen, Head of the Foreign Trade Administration at the Israeli Ministry of Economy, said: "The Ministry of Economy continues to strengthen Israel's economic ties with countries around the world, with an emphasis on developing economies with high growth potential. This will strengthen Israel's foothold in Latin America, in line with our policy of expanding export channels for Israeli industry and various services sectors. The agreement will open new possibilities for Israeli industry while giving a competitive edge to Israeli manufacturers. Panama is a candidate to become member of the Pacific Alliance, a bloc of Latin American countries comprising Mexico, Colombia (both countries with which Israel has free trade agreements), Chile and Peru. The bloc includes some 200 million people and a combined GDP of more than $3 trillion; it covers 35% of the GDP of all Latin American countries and more than 50% of Latin American trade."

 

Mrs. Yifat Alon Perel, Director of Bilateral Trade and Economic Agreements at the Foreign Trade Administration and head of the Israeli negotiating team, said: "Free trade agreements constitute a significant infrastructural framework for Israeli exports. Today, some 65% of Israeli exports are directed to countries with which Israel has free trade agreements and this gives exporters customs benefits and a competitive edge, among other advantages. The Foreign Trade Administration continues to act for the benefit of exporters by ensuring their products remain competitive and by creating better access to new markets. This is done by striving to remove trade obstacles exporters may encounter when trying to enter new markets. As of today, Israeli industry enjoys a competitive advantage in Latin America in exports to the Mercosur bloc which includes Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. Israel is the only non-Latin American country with an active free trade agreement with this important bloc. In addition, Israel has an active trade agreement with Mexico and two years ago signed a free trade agreement with Colombia which is expected to take effect in the coming year. Our goal is to expand the benefits Israeli industry enjoys to additional countries. The agreement with Panama will be the fourth one Israel has signed in Latin America. Strengthening economic relations with Panama is doubly important, both in opening new markets for Israeli industry but also in strengthening Israel's position among Latin American countries.”

 

According to the Foreign Trade Administration at the Israeli Ministry of Economy, the economy of Panama is based mainly on a highly developed services sector, which represents more than three-quarters of the country's GDP, and includes management of the Panama Canal, logistics, banking, the Colon Free Trade Zone, insurance, operation of the ports, shipping registration and tourism. The rate of economic growth in Panama reached 8.4% in 2013 and 6.2% in 2014, significantly higher than the average for Latin America and the Caribbean Islands (1.7% in 2014, according to World Bank data). Panama's growth is attributed among other things to the widening of the Panama Canal, begun in 2007 at a cost of $5.3 billion. Additional infrastructure development projects expected to take place may also draw Israeli companies with relevant experience.

 

The country's modest exports reach only $25 million, but may grow in light of the agreement and in light of Panama’s role as a bridge to other countries in the region.

 

 Photos : Andrés Lacko

 

 

 

 

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On Thursday evening, July 20th, the Embassy of Colombia in Tel Aviv celebrated Colombia’s National Day, the anniversary of the signing of the country’s declaration of independence. The event was held at the beautiful home of Colombian Ambassador to Israel, H.E. Mr. Fernando Alzate Donoso, and  wife Mrs.Nancy, in Kfar Shmaryahu.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Wednesday, 19 July 2017), held a series of bilateral meetings with the heads of government of the Visegard Group: Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo and Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico. (Prime Minister Netanyahu met yesterday with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.)

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​PM Netanyahu: We face common challenges, the first of which is to defeat the forces of terror that rampage through the world and threaten both our countries. We must stand together in this battle, much as we work together to perfect the future.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, this evening (Tuesday, 4 July 2017), at the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem, hosted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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The EU Delegation in Israel and the Municipality of Tel-Aviv-Yafo presented:  Performance Europa!
Urban celebration of live performances and interactive installations
Tel Aviv’s White Night ,Rothschild 1 Plaza, 29 June 

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 On 11 June 2017, the 5thPhilippine Tourism and Country Fair organized by the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv,Municipality of Haifa and Castra Mall, opened in a festive atmosphere in the northern city of Haifa as the Philippines tries to sustain the rapid tourism growth from Israel.

During the one-day event, simultaneous activities on tourism and cultural promotion and highlights of the 60 years of strong bilateral relations between the Philippines and Israel were featured at the Castra Mall. Around 800 Israelis and Filipinos enjoyed the cultural program that showcased multi-awarded Filipino soprano singer, Ms. Francis Anne “Princess” Virtudazo, and the best talents from the Filipino community in Israel.

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Over 60 leading women from across the world joined together last month for a panel discussion showcasing Israeli females in the lead.
Organized by The Israel Project (TIP) and the Embassy of Cyprus in Israel, the event served as a platform to discuss and understand the challenges and opportunities facing women in Israeli society in the modern age.
Among the panelists were popular journalist Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes. Former IDF commander Miri Eisin and Israeli Olympic athlete Maayan Davidovich.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, today (Thursday, 15 June 2017), in Thessaloniki, at the third trilateral summit, signed joint statements for the continued strengthening of relations.

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A senior delegation from Tanzania, headed by Dr. Aloyce Nzuki, Permanent Secretary Ministry for Natural Resources and Tourism, arrived in Israel for a series of meetings and events designed to increase cooperation with the Israeli tourist industry, and encourage Israeli tourism and investments to enchanted, exotic Tanzania.

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At a festive ceremony attended by Minister of Education Naftali Bennett, the Lauder Dormitory Building was inaugurated today at the Technion
state of the art building was donated to the Technion by World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder and his wife Jo Carole

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09 June 2017 – Jerusalem) The U.S. Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations Nikki Haley visited Yad Vashem today. The Ambassador was guided through the Holocaust History Museum by Dr. Robert Rozett, Director of Yad Vashem Libraries, participated in a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, visited the Children's Memorial and signed the Yad Vashem Guest Book.

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President Reuven Rivlin today (Wednesday) met at his residence in Jerusalem with United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Nikki R. Haley.

President Rivlin welcomed her and said, “You are a dear friend of Israel. We appreciate your strong stand on the world’s most important stage, in support of the security of the people and the State of Israel. With your support we see the beginning of a new era. Israel is no longer alone at the UN. Israel is no longer the UN’s punching bag.”

He continued, “When I spoke at the UN on Holocaust Memorial Day, I said that the UN must learn from the lessons of the past, and stand up against hatred and racism. I said it must end its obsession with targeting Israel. Progress has been made. Israel’s standing at the UN has improved. But sadly, we have a long way to go. Both in holding to account, public statements made by officials, and in supporting regulation to reduce the ridiculous number of discussions and resolutions against Israel. This is also true in the Human Rights Council - which has been hijacked as a weapon against Israel - and in UNESCO, where they seek to rub out the history of the Jewish people.”

The President thanked the Ambassador for her great contribution to the State of Israel, and said, “Ambassador Haley, as the representative the US - Israel’s greatest and strongest ally - we appreciate very much your support of Israel, and all you do to stand up for the values of freedom and democracy which we share. Welcome to Israel, welcome to Jerusalem.”

Ambassador Haley thanked the President for his warm welcome and said, “Thank you Mr. President for taking the time to meet with us, it is an absolute thrill to be here in Israel, I so much appreciate the support we have received from the people of Israel. But I feel somewhat guilty because all I did at the United Nations was tell the truth. I have never taken kindly to bullies, and the UN has bullied Israel for a very long time, and we are not going to let that happen anymore. It is a new day for Israel in the United Nations. We just got back from Geneva, talking about the Human Rights Council and hopefully it will be a new day at the Human Rights Council when it comes to Israel.”

She concluded by saying she was greatly looking forward to her visit to Israel and said, “I am looking forward to taking in the history, the beauty, the tradition, and all that comes with the magic of Israel. Thank you very much for having me it is a pleasure to be here.”

Photo credit: Mark Neiman (GPO)

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Friday was a beautiful late spring day; the gardens were lovely, the weather was fine; the guests were elegantly attired; the refreshments were generous and delicious; all the makings of a happy celebration marking the National Day of Sweden. H.E. Carl Magnus Nesser, ambassador of Sweden to the State of Israel, hosted the event at the ambassadorial residence in Herzlia Pituach.

The event was attended by many Swedish nationals living in Israel; Swedish music, Swedish food, Swedish sponsors and a generous open bar – all the makings of a happy event.

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A fundamentally agricultural holiday, Shavuot commemorates the custom of bringing offerings to the Holy Temple from the first fruits of the harvest and the first animals born to the flocks.

Shavuot, the Holiday of Weeks, is one of the three pilgrimage holidays, along with Pesach and Sukkot. These are the holidays on which the whole Jewish people would come to Jerusalem​ in ancient times, when the Holy Temple was there, and would offer animal and grain sacrifices.

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Tel Aviv Eat presents three evenings of tastings and workshops featuring the region’s leading restaurants and most prominent chefs. Entrance is free (including the chefs’ demonstrations), and tasting portions range in price from NIS 20-35. Doors open each evening at 18.00. There are several performance stages, live music, and stands selling beer.

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"Only when we remember the families who were torn apart from everyone they loved, who suffered that terrible darkness and evil, who had endured the unbearable horror of the Holocaust, only then can we prevent this agony from ever repeating." President Donald J. Trump Add a comment

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