The Philippines is intensifying its commitment in forging robust trade and investment ties with its partners in the Middle East, such as Qatar, especially in the field of Islamic finance, among other sectors, an official of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) has said.
“We are encouraging Qatari investors to invest in Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), Joint Ventures (JVs) and other modes of partnerships with the Philippines in building transportation, logistics, and manufacturing hubs that are halal-compliant,” Peza director general Charito Plaza told Gulf Times in an interview.
On July 9, Plaza revealed that Peza will be leading a ‘Virtual Investment Promotions in Qatar’ in the presence of “potential investors from the State of Qatar,” in co-ordination with the Philippine Business Council-Qatar (PBC-Q), headed by Peza’s Investment Promotion Partners (IPP) Greg Loayon and Joseph Timothy Rivera.
Plaza will deliver the keynote address during the webinar, which will be supported with special presentations from the Ateneo School of Government and PBC-Q, according to Rivera.
“While business delegations and investment roadshows to and from the Philippines are being moved to later dates, Peza is now co-ordinating with the Philippine Commercial Attaché for the Middle East and the Philippine Embassy in Doha, led by Ambassador Alan Timbayan, for this webinar, which will tackle new investment opportunities and ecozone business continuity during Covid-19 to prospect foreign investors in Qatar,” Rivera said.
“The Philippine Economic Zone Authority has renewed its confidence in Qatar’s investment market; just before the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, one company from Qatar has registered with Peza,” he added.
Plaza said, “Peza welcomes investments in halal hubs and the use of Islamic financial facilities from Qatar. Our leadership continues to attract investors in the country because of our incentives, which are tried, tested, and proven to be globally competitive.
“It is Peza’s best practices, one-stop-shop, ease of doing business and tax incentives that are the strong factors that have been attracting foreign investors to the Philippines and export-oriented industries, aside from our rich natural and human resources.”
She stressed that the Philippines is home to more than 10mn Muslim Filipinos, adding that “this is the time to explore opportunities and be innovative.”
“In Peza, we would like to invite investors to put up halal hubs with financing facilities that are Shariah-compliant. A new development related to this is that President Rodrigo R Duterte signed into law Republic Act 11439, which allows foreign banks to operate an Islamic bank in the Philippines,” Plaza added.
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