THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) will be holding investment road shows in the Middle East to encourage investors to come to the Philippines ahead of a planned visit by President Rodrigo Duterte to the region.
The seminars will be held on February 11 and 12 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, February 13 and 14 in Dubai, and February 15 and 16 in Qatar, “so when the President comes, we will just sign the MOUs [memorandums of understanding]and the investments that we have finalized in the seminars in these countries,” Charito Plaza, PEZA director general, said on January 9.
“PEZA will go to the Middle East together with the Department of Foreign Affairs [DFA], Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the owners of the identified new economic zones,” Plaza said.
“Some are local executives, private landowners. They will join us, it will be a road show, an investment seminar in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Dubai to be followed by Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman,” she said.
She said the DFA has asked the PEZA to be in the frontline in formalizing possible investments to the Philippines since it is the PEZA that initiates talks with sheikhs and businessmen the said countries.
Plaza said President Duterte is eyeing a visit to the Middle East from February 26 to March 3. The first part of the visit will include Riyadh, Dubai and Qatar while the second part will take in Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait, but Plaza added that the dates are still tentative.
She said that PEZA will be holding investment seminars and hopefully, “we can find a match for our local investors so that they can already find a partner or an investor for their economic zones. Because these are some of the areas that has economic zones ready for investors to invest [in].”
“In my initial talks with investors, they’re interested in tourism, agricultural economic zones, and putting up halal (permissible) hubs, so all industries that manufacture halal foods, halal cosmetics, halal clothes will be invited to locate in the Philippines, especially in the Mindanao economic zones,” Plaza added.