Pasay City – Ending the month of March, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) continues to deepen its investment opportunities with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) this time in Abu Dhabi with the Agency’s Global Biz forum and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Philippine Business Council (PBC) – Abu Dhabi and Prime Group of Companies yesterday, 28 March.
Held physically at the Le Royal Meridien Hotel in Abu Dhabi, the PEZA Director General Charito B. Plaza said, “We continue to invite our friends and prospect investors in the capital of UAE to locate and even expand their operations in the Philippines now that we are experiencing a more relaxed health protocols and pandemic lockdowns.”
Her Excellency Hjayceelyn Quintana, the Philippine Ambassador to Abu Dhabi also graced the Global Biz. Expressing her continuous support to PEZA, she said, “I believe the time has come for you [Abu Dhabi] to discover what the Philippines can offer.”
With this, PEZA Chief shared, “It is timely that we invite Emirati companies and investors in Abu Dhabi especially we now have a growing and significant number of Muslim Filipinos.”
“Our national government welcomes [future] investors and partners in UAE to do business in the Philippines. We encourage business enterprises in Abu Dhabi to share to Filipinos your success stories of doing business here in the Middle East,” added the Director General.
PEZA has also awarded Ambassador Quintana the Galing Pinas Partnership Excellence Award during the Global Biz in Abu Dhabi.
Target industries to locate in PH
Targeting specific industries to locate in the Philippines, Ambassador Quintana said, “We can look into sectors such as the infrastructure, food security, construction, advanced technology, and creative industries.”
PEZA Director General Plaza also mentioned, “As we target Emirati enterprises who are into manufacturing, IT-BPO, Tourism, Medical Tourism, and agro-industry, we are also interested in attracting Emirati investors to locate in the Philippines who are into oil depot and fuel/petroleum-related facilities and halal food production.”
According to Plaza, “While we have registered industries inside our ecozones engaged in manufacturing, processing, and supplying of refined petroleum and other fuel products, basic metals, chemical products, gas, and steam, we currently do not have oil, fuel, or any petroleum-related PEZA-registered Emirati enterprises yet.”
She assures prospect stakeholders from Abu Dhabi that, “PEZA will assist and link Abu Dhabi investors engaged in oil industry with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Department of Energy (DOE).”
Meanwhile, Philippine Business Council – Abu Dhabi Chairman Prof. Rau Ragnit also showed his support to PEZA and the Embassy’s investment endeavors stating, “We would like to be of assistance to the rest of the Filipino business community with the support of the Philippine Embassy to make sure we provide [the investors] the necessary tools and information in seeing the beauty of the Philippines and the Filipino business community here in Abu Dhabi.”
PEZA welcomes the amended laws on investment
Both PEZA and the Philippine Ambassador to Abu Dhabi fully support the recently amended laws namely the Foreign Investment Act (FIA), Public Service Act (PSA), and the Retail Trade Liberalization Act (RTLA) making the Philippines become more attractive and accessible to foreign stakeholders.
With the improved laws, PEZA Chief Plaza said, “Hopefully, these amended laws can persuade and attract Emirati and other foreign nationals to finally locate their enterprises and do business in our country particularly in our economic zones.”
She also shared, “Our government recognizes the increased capital and technology benefits the Philippines and that global and regional economies affect our country’s economy. We can now address some of the lacking efficiency factors and at the same time, create various job opportunities for Filipinos.”
This has been seconded by the Philippine Ambassador highlighting, “With the amended FIA, this will improve the Philippines’ openness to foreign direct investments by mandating a review of the foreign investment negative list every two (2) years. This also liberalizes the practice of certain professions thus, creating opportunities to attract foreign investors that would otherwise be unable to do business in our country without foreign talent.”
On the amendments to the Public Service Act, PEZA Chief Plaza shared “This law will attract global players to help modernize Philippine public services in telecommunications, shipping, air carriers, railways, and transport network vehicle industries.”
MOU Signing with PBC – Abu Dhabi and Prime Group of Companies
During the Global Biz forum, PEZA also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Philippine Business Council (PBC) – Abu Dhabi and the Prime Group of Companies L.L.C.
The MOU Signing with PBC – Abu Dhabi aims to establish a partnership with PEZA towards promoting foreign direct investment inflows to PEZA ecozones and become an Investment Promotion Partner under PEZA’s Ka-PIPPS program.
Supported by Ambassador Quintana, she said, “To be able to attract the UAE private sectors to do business in the Philippines, the Philippine Business Council (PBC) – Abu Dhabi plays an important role. They are an important partner of the Embassy and we commend PBC – Abu Dhabi led by its chairman, Mr. Gau Raganit.”
As PEZA’s Ka-PIPPS, PBC – Abu Dhabi will support the Agency’s DOLLAR Programs in its expos in job, innovation, logistics, livelihood, and online skills training.
On the other hand, the MOU Signing between PEZA and PRIME as a compliance solutions provider, the latter plans to establish more laboratories as well as certification facilities in order to support PEZA and its developers, locators, and future investors to comply with local and international requirements in addition to establishing high quality standards in their operations and conduct of business.
Under the MOU and as may be applicable to PEZA locator companies, PEZA and Prime both agree to establish a partnership in the areas of conformity and compliance, analytical testing, and trainings such as in food safety, Halal Awareness, HACCP, and ISO 22000 Awareness.
Further, PEZA shall assist PRIME in identifying suitable companies which are into food and beverage, cosmetics and personal care products, manufacturing, and service provision. #