PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte’s socioeconomic agenda was unveiled in his trip to the Middle East last week and will be called “Dutertenomics,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said on Monday.
“Dutertenomics” aims to widen the gains of economic development, address inequality and uplift the quality of life of all Filipinos, the Cabinet official said in a statement.
Lopez said the President’s visits to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar significantly strengthened diplomatic relationships, resulting in stronger commitments to enhance bilateral trade and investments.
The government also made gains for overseas Filipino workers in the three countries, Lopez said, citing memoranda of understanding and agreements in the field of education, health, vocational and skills training; investments; and technical cooperation.
These initiatives, Lopez said, form part of “Dutertenomics” that would lead to more job and income opportunities and improved quality of life.
Duterte urged the oil-rich countries to buy more Philippine products to improve their trade balance with the Philippines. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar are the main sources of oil and oil products imported by Philippines.
Lopez also reported several initiatives to facilitate investments, including the Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (IPPA) with Qatar, which should facilitate the flow of Qatar investments into the Philippines.
This agreement, negotiations for which started nine years ago, will make Philippines an eligible recipient of investment funds from the Qatar Sovereign Fund. The initial investment estimate was $1 billion.
Lopez said: “Qatar investors will be treated fairly and will not be disadvantaged.”
The government, he said, would “facilitate identification of opportunities and entry of investments.”