In Dubai, DTI wins over investors
The Department of Trade and Industry has offered close to a hundred ready-to-go investments projects and business proposals to foreign investors during the annual investment meeting in Dubai, as the Philippines seeks to further boost economic ties with the Middle East.
In pitching the proposals, the delegation hoped to promote specific Philippine sectors in the Middle East, namely manufacturing, agribusiness, industrial estate development, tourism, infrastructure, logistics and energy.
Trade Undersecretary Ponciano C. Manalo Jr. told reporters Wednesday night that there was increased focus in pitching the Philippine Halal industry, tourism sector, and the government’s public-private partnership (PPP) program to Dubai investors. Some industry and project opportunities in Mindanao were also discussed, including infrastructure, and industrial estate development projects.
“As you know, the UAE imports 85 percent of its food requirements, and that poses a huge opportunity for the Philippines in terms of exporting Halal certified products,” he said, singling out Mindanao as a prime investment site.
According to Manalo, companies seeking to manufacture Halal certified products may locate at the Zamboanga economic zone. Plans are being drawn up to set up a one-stop-shop for the Halal sector within the ecozone.
Early last month, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos and the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority reportedly signed an agreement to develop 100 hectares within the freeport for the Halal industry.
At present, the country has a marginal share of less than 5 percent of the Halal trade in the Asean, valued at some $1.38 trillion. Globally, the halal trade is estimated to be worth some $2.3 trillion. The Asean region, dubbed the Halal capital of the world, accounts for about 60 percent of the trade.
The Philippine delegation to Dubai, which was headed by Manalo, was composed of 44 representatives from 20 investment promotion agencies (IPAs), local government units (LGUs), private businesses, and business organizations. The mission was organized by the DTI and the Board of Investments in collaboration with the Philippine Embassy in UAE.
In the same Annual Investment Meeting, the Philippines was also conferred the Investments Project Award for Asia, considered to be a “widely appreciated recognition of the best IPAs.”
“This is a strong confirmation that the Philippines has been attracting the best investment projects in recent years,” Manalo said.
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