Israel’s top diplomat will also visit South Korea.
Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen is in Manila, the Philippines, marking the first time in 56 years that an Israeli foreign minister has visited that nation’s capital.
The Israeli foreign minister met on Monday with Philippine Foreign Minister Enrique Manelo, holding a bilateral meeting to expand business and trade relations.
Also on Monday, the Israeli Embassy in Manila officially opened floors for its economic and defense offices.
The Israeli Embassy in Manila has officially opened floors for its economic and defense offices.
Israeli Foreign Minister Eliyahu Cohen, along with a business delegation, is in the Philippines for a two-day visit to enhance economic ties. | @kayceevalmonte
— Philstar.com (@PhilstarNews) June 5, 2023
At an Israel-Philippines Business Forum on Sunday, Cohen said that he hopes to start direct flights between Tel Aviv and Manila in 2024, adding that it would be “great news for the tourism industry and business community.”
Cohen also expressed a readiness to take Israel-Philippines trade “to new heights.”
Israeli Foreign Minister @elicoh1 says Israel seeks to “take bilateral trade volume (with PH) to new heights,” hopes to open direct flights between PH and Israel by 2024.
— ABS-CBN News (@ABSCBNNews) June 5, 2023
In addition to Manelo, Cohen will meet with senior government officials in both countries, including the President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., and the South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin, and will discuss with them the expansion of ties between the nations in the fields of security and economy.
“We are strengthening relations with the rising powers in Southeast Asia. The visit to the Philippines and South Korea will create policy opportunities for Israel in this important region,” said Cohen.
The visit was a “direct continuation” of his recent visit to India, he added.
“Asia is a continent with tremendous potential, and of great importance to Israel and its economy,” he said.
Cohen is leading two business delegations organized by the Foreign Ministry’s Economic Division, the Export Institute and the Israeli embassies in Manila and Seoul.
The business delegation to the Philippines will focus on agriculture, water, energy and cleantech, security and cyber, emergency preparedness and health.
The delegation to South Korea will focus on the fields of automotive, robotics, smart factories, artificial intelligence and AR (augmented reality).