Credit By: Khaleej Times
A high-level UAE delegation, led by Ahmed bin Ali Al Sayegh, UAE Minister of State, and Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Foreign Trade, visited Manila, Philippines, fostering increased bilateral trade and investment ties. The visit follows a remarkable 19.4% year-on-year growth in bilateral non-oil trade during the first half of 2023, reaching $500 million.
Exploring Opportunities and Strengthening Ties
The delegation’s visit aimed to explore opportunities for collaboration across various sectors of mutual interest and build on the positive momentum in economic relations. Discussions included efforts to deepen strategic trade and investment relations, particularly in the energy sector, aligning with the objectives of the upcoming United Nations Climate Conference (COP28) hosted in Dubai.
Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)
The visit coincides with discussions towards a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the two nations, a significant step expected to enhance bilateral trade and investment flows further.
Investments Protection and Promotion Agreement (BIPA)
Key talks centered on the development toward the implementation of an Investments Protection and Promotion Agreement (BIPA) signed between the UAE and the Philippines in June 2023. The agreement provides a framework for protecting and promoting investments between the two nations.
UAE-Philippines Business Forum
The visit included the UAE-Philippines Business Forum, bringing together representatives from leading companies and investors. Al Sayegh and Al Zeyoudi highlighted opportunities for collaboration in sectors such as clean energy, tourism, financial services, transportation, and logistics.
Advantages of the UAE Business Landscape
Al Sayegh emphasized that the forum provides a unique opportunity for business players to engage, explore, and establish pathways for joint projects. He noted the significant progress in strengthening economic and bilateral partnerships between the UAE and the Philippines, facilitating investments and collaboration in critical sectors.
Al Zeyoudi promoted the advantages and incentives offered by the UAE’s dynamic business landscape to Filipino businesses and investors, including its strategic location, world-class infrastructure, logistics capabilities, and a pro-growth regulatory environment.
Strategic Collaboration and Future Opportunities
As like-minded nations, the UAE and the Philippines share ambitions to develop agile and diverse economies. The Philippines, strategically located in Southeast Asia and rich in natural resources and talent, offers substantial potential for collaboration. The UAE-Philippines Business Forum signed two memoranda of understanding (MoU) between the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Bilateral Talks and Site Visits
During the visit, the delegation engaged in bilateral talks with key officials, including Frederick Go, Presidential Adviser on investment and economic affairs for the Philippines. Site visits to prominent Filipino entities, such as JG Summit Holdings, San Miguel Corporation, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), and utilities provider Meralco, were conducted to identify joint venture prospects across high-growth sectors.
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