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PEZA strengthens PH investment promotion efforts in Expo 2020 Dubai

PEZA strengthens PH investment promotion efforts in Expo 2020 Dubai
December 16, 2021
PEZA strengthens PH investment promotion efforts in Expo 2020 Dubai

16 December 2021 (Thursday)

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) – The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) continues to aggressively promote the Philippines as a viable investment destination for foreign investors in line with the Expo 2020 Dubai, the first to be held in Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, last December 05-15, 2021.

With the theme 'Connecting Minds and Creating the Future', the Expo 2020 Dubai is expected to inspire peoples and governments through sustainability, mobility, and opportunity.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez along with PEZA Director General Plaza and the rest of the Philippine delegation discussing investment opportunities in PH with investors at the Philippine Pavilion in Expo 2020 Dubai


According to PEZA Director General Charito “Ching” Plaza, “PEZA has registered 21 Arab locators with a total investment capital of P1.75 billion as of date.  We must seize opportunities in order to widen our reach for Middle Eastern industries and technologies as well as to cope with the fast-paced and ever-changing global market.”

Deputy Director General for Policy and Planning Tereso Panga likewise added, “The Philippines will benefit from this expo as Dubai is one of the cities around the world that showcases the latest innovation and technology and emerging business opportunities from around the globe.”


Investment Opportunities in PH

During the Global Business Forum, Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato de la Peña virtually joined Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez to discuss the opportunities for trade and investments as well as innovation/technology development in the Philippines for UAE and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) investors.

“It is a must that we strengthen our business relations as well as investment and economic ties with UAE and countries who’s more advanced than us because there are a lot of things we can emulate to help our country grow,” noted Plaza.

On the sidelines, PEZA also met with various companies including the Dubai Islamic Bank, DP World, Emirates Airlines and S.S. Lootah Group to discuss investment opportunities between the Philippines and the UAE.

Based on the discussions, DP World plans to develop a 50 to 100-hectare economic zone with integrated seaport for their latest logistics facilities and solutions. “I also invited DP World to bring also in the Philippines their pioneering "virgin hyperloop" people/cargo speed transport, which can cut down travel time from Manila to Mindanao to 1 hour,” noted Plaza.

[From top to bottom] DG Plaza with the rest of the PEZA delegation discussing potential investments in the Philippines with the top executives of the Emirates, the Dubai Islamic Bank, and the Dubai Airports respectively.


As for Emirates, they will explore airport development/facility management and increase the number of weekly Manila-Dubai flights for the benefit particularly of the OFWs in the Middle East.

For the energy sector, Lootah BC Gas eyes liquefied natural gas (LNG) generation and biofuel production, while the Global Business Forum (GBF) Asean in Dubai is pushing for a renewable energy transition and adopting alternative energy sources such as hydrogen, ammonia, and battery storage.

“Given their pipeline expansions in the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement, these global industry players are eyeing new/expansion projects in the Philippines to cater to the domestic market and as a hub for regional operations,” stated Deputy Director General Panga.

Moreover, PEZA and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC), also took the opportunity to engage in G2G and G2B meetings with the Heads of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, UAE and USA expo pavilions.

Also met by PEZA delegation led by PEZA Chief Plaza were: the Director of Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and Vice President of Dubai Chamber of Commerce for discussing preparations for the PEZA Global Biz featuring Asia-Pacific scheduled in July 2022; top executives of Lulu for consultation on their ecozone operations and expansion; Chairman of Maxtube Saje for property development ventures; and Founder of Prime group for capacity building on halal certification and establishment of ecozone geoscience labs.

Plaza’s delegation also met top government officials from the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Dubai Airport and Masdar for benchmarking on FDI facilitation, project financing and infrastructure development (especially in the logistics, renewable/clean energy, and innovation center spaces).


Partnerships for Islamic Banking and Finance

Moreover, PEZA also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the AlHuda Center of Islamic Banking and Economics (CIBE) to promote Islamic banking and finance in the Philippines.

The same partnership has been established by PEZA with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in October to promote Islamic banking and finance in the Philippines especially in the PEZA ecozones, and in the provision of relevant capacity building program, and access to Shari’ah-compliant products and services.

PEZA Director General Plaza signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Mr. Muhammad Zubair, Managing Director of the AlHuda CIBE FZ LLE – UAE.



“PEZA sees this as an opportunity to help address gaps in the global Halal value chain in the areas of halal food production, logistics and services which could boost its bid for a share of the world halal market, estimated at more than US$ 3 Trillion. This will also benefit the local market in accessing halal certified products with its more than 10 million Muslim Filipinos all over the country,” stated Plaza.

In response to this, the Dubai Islamic Bank is determined with its plan to acquire a universal bank status in the Philippines and to help the government access the GCC Sovereign Wealth Fund.

Remaining true to its mandate to promote investments, generate exports, and create jobs, PEZA ensures to aggressively entice foreign investors to locate in the Philippines.

“As the country is poised to recover this year, together we will emerge stronger after this crisis and regain our status as one of the most vibrant economies in the region. Let us continue to make it happen in the Philippines,” noted the PEZA Chief.