Peza woos foreign biz in 2020 Dubai Expo

·3 min read

THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) has courted several business owners and investors to explore opportunities between the Arab nations and the Philippines during the recent 2020 Dubai Expo.

“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,” said Peza Director General Charito Plaza in a statement.

Peza has registered 21 Arab locators with a total investment capital of P1.75 billion to date.

The 2020 Dubai Expo was held for the first time in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia on December 5 to 15, 2021 with the theme: “Connecting Minds and Creating the Future.”

“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,” said Peza Deputy Director General for Policy and Planning Tereso Panga.

Investment opportunities

Peza 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 United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Based on the discussions, DP World plans to develop a 50- to 100-hectare economic zone with integrated seaport for its latest logistics facilities and solutions.

“I also invited DP World to bring also in the Philippines its pioneering ‘virgin hyperloop’ people/cargo speed transport, which can cut down travel time from Manila to Mindanao to one hour,” said Plaza.

As for Emirates, Plaza said they will explore airport development/facility management and increase the number of weekly Manila-Dubai flights for the benefit particularly of the overseas Filipino workers 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 of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (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,” said Panga.

Islamic banking

Peza also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the AlHuda Center of Islamic Banking and Economics to promote Islamic banking and finance in the Philippines.

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

“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,” said Plaza.

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

“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,” said the Peza chief. (KOC WITH PR)

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