Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Binay pushes for more PHL pineapple, coconut exports to Israel

At his meeting with President Shimon Peres on the first day of his official visit to Israel, Vice President Jejomar Binay pushed for more exports of fresh Philippine produce such as pineapple and coconut to the mainstream Israeli retail market. “I hope that more Philippines fresh produce such as pineapples and coconuts [will find their] way into the mainstream Israeli retail market. The Embassy has initiated the mechanism for the approval of pineapple importation to Israel in coordination with the Israel Ministry of Agriculture,” he said, according to a note posted Wednesday on his Facebook account. Binay met Peres at the Presidential Residence in Jerusalem, where he also urged ranking Israeli officials to explore new trade and investment opportunities in the Philippines. “The Philippine-Israel bilateral trade represents a very small percentage of the overall Israel-Asia two-way trade. I hope that our strengthening bilateral relations translate to more investments between our countries,” he said. Binay also said the Philippines could benefit from Israel’s technological advances in agriculture and food production. “I am happy to note that Filipino agricultural workers are being exposed to Israeli agricultural technology that is considered among the best in the world,” he said. Itinerary Binay will also attend a dinner meeting with Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Avigdor Lieberman to discuss regional developments. He is also to meet with Israeli business groups to push overall trade relations between the two countries. He also plans to lay a wreath at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem to pay his respects to the victims of the Holocaust, and go to Rishon LeZion to visit the Open Doors Monument, which commemorates the Philippines’ providing refuge to Jews during the Holocaust. Binay will then meet with the Filipino community in Beit Dani, Tel Aviv and attend the inauguration of the Philippine Square at the City of Haifa and meet Haifa City Mayor Yona Yahav. Haifa and Manila are sister cities. — BM