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History of Philippine-Israel Relations

The Philippines and Israel relations have always been warm and friendly. Political, Cultural, Economic, Scientific and Technological cooperation between the two countries continue to prosper.

The year 2007 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Philippines and Israel. In 1957, the State of Israel and the Republic of the Philippines established full diplomatic relations with the signing of the Treaty of Friendship on 26 Feb 1958. The Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Tel Aviv and the Embassy of the State of Israel in Manila were opened in 1962.

Israelis and Filipinos share common democratic values, freedom and civil rights which are manifested in the span of Philippines and Israel bilateral relations.

The Philippines supported the UN Resolution 181 on the partition of Palestine and the Creation of the State of Israel in 1947:

The Philippines was the ONLY Asian country to support the creation of the State of Israel. On 29 November 1947, 33 countries voted in favor of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 creating the State of Israel. The thirty three countries are Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Byelorussian SSR, Canada, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland, Liberia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Sweden, South Africa, Ukrainian SSR, United States of America, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

On 28 November 2007, the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) honored the thirty three countries which supported the UN General Assembly 181 in celebration of 60th Anniversary of the State of Israel.

The Philippine commitment to this cause is still embedded in our hearts as we co-sponsored the UN resolution to mark 27 January, a yearly commemorative day to honor the victims of the Holocaust.

Bilateral Agreements

There are, at present, fourteen major bilateral Agreements between the Philippines and Israel:

  • Air Services Between and Beyond Two Countries
    07 August 1951 || 07 August 1951
  • Treaty of Friendship
    26 February 1958 || 18 December 1963
  • Technical Cooperation in Agriculture
    06 March 1964 || 16 March 1964
  • Cooperation on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy
    14 January 1969 || 14 January 1969
  • Abolition of Transit and Visitor’s Visa
    10 December 1969 || 01 January 1970
  • Abolition of Visas for Holders of Diplomatic and Service Passport
    14 December 1969
  • Tourism
    09 May 1988 || 16 April 1987 (initial)
  • Cultural, Educational and Academic Research
    24 April 1989 || 17 April 1991
  • MOU on Scientific and Technological Cooperation
    26 June 1992
  • Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation
    09 June 1993 || 26 May 1997
  • Agreement on Technical Cooperation in the Field of Agriculture and Agriculture Related Fields
    06 June 1994 || 30 May 1996
  • MOU on the Establishment of a Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation
    11 February 1997 || 11 February 1997
  • Agreement Concerning Cooperation in the Fields of Posts and Telecommunications
    18 June 1997 || 27 January 1998
  • Agreement on Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters
    23 November 2010

Trade Cooperation

  • Philippines and Israel Trade Cooperation continue to grow but remains minimal in comparison with other countries in Europe and America. In 2007, the Philippine exports to Israel amounted to US$ 33,929,631 while imports from Israel reached US$ 248,448,918. The negative trade balance is mainly because Israel exports are mostly high value products such as electronics, equipment, machineries, and technology compared to Philippines’ processed food and furniture.
  • Total trade between the Philippines and Israel in 2007 was the highest in five years with the total amount of US$ 282,378,549.
  • The January to July 2007 total trade amounted to US$ 165,989,564 while the 2008 figures covering the same period is US$ 107,152,339, slightly lower than the same period in 2007.
  • It may be worthy to mention though, that for the past four years total trade between the Philippines and Israel continue to register growth, owing to the promotion efforts conducted by the Embassy to attract more exchange in trade between the two countries. The Department of Trade and industry’s support has always been instrumental to the success of the Embassy’s efforts.
  • Israeli investors are also slowly targeting the Philippines as possible investment site. Embassy received an increasing number of trade and investment inquiries ranging from greenhouse farming to solar energy.
  • Investment to the Philippines by Israeli businessmen is showing positive signs owing to the intensive efforts of the Government to promote the Philippines as the best investment site in South East Asia because of its improved policies, incentives and investment climate.
  • The Embassy believes that in order to further strengthen its bid to improve exchange of trade with Israel, the Philippine government should consider initiating a high level visit of government officials particularly from the Department of Trade and Industry. Israel is now geared on trading with Asian countries because of its potential market. In fact,
  • Israel Venture Capital Industry is looking at China and India as its future partner. The Philippines could take this cue and grab the opportunity to express its interest to improve trade with Israel through high level visits which could eventually culminate with an exchange of visits of Ministers of Trade of both countries.
  • The Embassy recommends that a trade mission to Israel be organized to set the groundwork for an eventual high level visits. This would allow both Philippines and Israeli businessmen to assess the market and lay the foundation for a greater cooperation between the two countries. The
  • Embassy is working closely with the Israel-Asia Chamber of Commerce which could greatly assist in the organization of the trade mission and the Minister’s visit.

Comparative Table of Philippine Trade with Israel 2003-2008

Exports To Israel Import From Israel Total Trade Balance Trade
2003 20,015,240 161,833,113 181,848,353 -141,817,873
2004 21,171,840 106,968,847 128,140,687 -85,797,007
2005 26,448,916 124,997,910 151,446,826 -98,548,994
2006 24,444,240 162,957,124 187,401,364 -138,512,884
2007 33,929,631 248,448,918 282,378,549 -220,222,904
2008 Jan-Aug 20,922,071 86,230,268 107,152,339 -65,308,197

SOURCE: Tradeline Philippines ( 2008 partial figures only)

Top 10 Philippine Products Exported to Israel

  1. #1 Electronics (semi conductors; Electronic data processing; office equipment; communications; radar; automotive electronics)
  2. #2 Chemicals (organic chemicals; Oleochemicals; Petrochemicals)
  3. #3 Marine products (Live fish; canned tuna; prepared and preserved marine products)
  4. #4 Processed food (nuts; coconut products; processed fruits; meat and meat preparations; cereal and flour preparations; processed vegetables; beverages; sauces, condiments, spices and mixes)
  5. #5 Garments (Baby’s/infant’s wear; men’s wear; women’s wear; articles of apparel)
  1. #6 Machineries / Transport equipment (Transport equipment; automotive parts; metal machinery / equipment/parts)
  2. #7 Furniture (Bamboo, rattan and wood furniture; furnishings; plastic furniture; metal furniture)
  3. #8 Carrageena
  4. #9 Giftware (Desk accessories; articles made of shell)
  5. #10 Construction Materials (metal based; asbestos materials)

Top 10 Products Imported From Israel

  1. #1 Electronics (semi conductors; Electronic data processing; medical/industrial instrumentation; control and instrumentation; telecommunications; consumer electronics)
  2. #2 Industrial Manufactures (packaging products; plastic based; fiber/textile based
  3. #3 Chemicals (Organic and inorganic chemicals; fertilizers dyeing tanning and coloring materials)
  4. #4 Machineries/ Transport equipment (machineries, equipment; apparatus)
  5. #5 Consumer Manufactures (Pharmaceutical products; paper; soaps and detergents; printing and publishing materials; medical supplies; timepieces)
  • #6 Processed food (processed fruits; processed vegetables; cocoa)
  • #7 Cut flowers
  • #8 Textile yarns, twine and cordages (Desk accessories; articles made of shell)
  • #9 Natural oils, fats and waxes
  • #10 Construction materials (metal based construction materials)

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