An Israeli company is set to invest about $50 million in a weapons factory in the Philippines next year, Filipino media reports have revealed.
The Philippine News Agency reported that the Israeli firm Silver Shadow Advanced Security Systems Ltd (SSASS) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Philippines Rayo Illuminar Corporation (RIC) to open the factory that will be operational by next year.
According to the news agency, Salvador Zamora, chairman of Filipino Rayo Illuminar Corporation, said that officials from Israeli SSASS would visit the Philippines later this month to finalise plans for an assembly plant slated to start producing firebombs and ammunition by 2019.
The Jerusalem Post said that “Israel and the Philippines maintain close security ties, with Israel selling a large amount of weaponry to the Philippine army over the years.”
The Israeli newspaper added: “With tensions rising in the South China Sea over the Spratly Islands – an archipelago disputed by the Philippines, Malaysia, China and Vietnam, the overall flow of arms to the region has spiked,” noting that during the Pilipino president’s visit to Israel, “more than 20 agreements worth nearly $83 million were signed.”
According to the Israeli newspaper, Philippine Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said: “These agreements are a clear indication of the enormous business and investment opportunities in the Philippines available to Israelis.”
“The Philippines is committed to pursue several growth opportunities by strengthening partnerships with emerging economic partners like Israel. Our engagement with them allows us to reinvigorate ties and increase trade between our countries.”