INVESTMENT pledges from the Middle East for agriculture, halal hubs and tourism enterprises reached $650 million, according to the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.
“During our Middle East visit, we were able to gathered $650-million investment pledges, that will be signed as an MOU [memorandum of understanding]when the President [Rodrigo Duterte] will go to the Middle East,” PEZA Director General Charito Plaza said last week.
In particular, Qatar pledged to invest $175 million in a halal hub, while Saudi Arabia will invest $465 million in a tourism enterprise and the UAE is investing $10 million in agro-industrial, Plaza said.
She said the investment pledges translate into 21,170 job opportunities.
President Duterte and some of his Cabinet members are scheduled to visit the Middle East from April 10 to 16, 2017.
Earlier, PEZA said there are two American companies eying to invest an estimated $4.1 billion in the country.
“There is one investor from US on offshore and onshore oil and gas . . . The OS Petro. They will invest $4 billion for a petrochem refinery . . . They need 10 blocks. So, that’s $400 million per block,” Plaza said.
OS Petro is an oil and gas exploration and production company with corporate offices in the US and Africa.
Plaza said the other is PayOdd, which intends to commit $10 million in initial investment.
PayOdd is an electronic wallet services company that caters to clients with or without a bank account. The company manages and controls funds so that clients can use the money however they want to, while complying with all international banking regulations, including anti-money laundering and fraud verification.
In February, PEZA conducted an investment seminar in the Middle East, together with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Trade and Industry, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and owners of new economic zones.