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Philippines woos Qatari investors to SEZs

Philippines woos Qatari investors to SEZs

MANILA: Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) presented range of investment opportunities to prospective Qatari investors during a conference yesterday at The Ritz-Carlton Doha which marked the conclusion of its week-long Middle East Roadshow.

The three-country roadshow held in preparation for the visit of President Rodrigo R Duterte which will likely be in April, took the Philippine delegation headed by PEZA Director General Charito Plaza to Dubai, Riyadh before its final leg in Doha. At yesterday’s investment conference, Plaza discussed before prospective Qatari investors the wide array of investment opportunities in various Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to be built across the country. They include agro-industrial, agro-forestry, aqua-marine, tourism, retirement homes and wellness villages, mineral processing, defense industrial complex, renewable energy eco-industrial park, Halal hubs and production zone and free trade zone in international air/sea ports, among others.

The PEZA chief explained why the Philippines is an ideal foreign investment spot, highlighting the advantages of investing in the fastest growing economy among ASEAN nations with its strategic location and friendly and hardworking Filipinos, as well as the attractive incentives for foreign investors such as a variety of tax incentives, 100 percent foreign ownership of companies and land lease of up to 75 years.

She also underlined the strengths of the Philippine economy with the highest GDP growth from 2012-2015 among its ASEAN counterparts as well as the country’s young educated population and foreign investor-friendly policies.

While the Japanese, the Americans and the Dutch are the biggest foreign investors in the country, there is a dearth of investors from the Middle East region. She expressed keen interest on inviting more Qatari firms to establish businesses in the Philippines.