DUBA, United Arab Emirates (UAE) – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez offered to strengthen trade and investment ties with the United Arab Emirates as he joined the first World Business Forum (GBF) in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) hosted at Expo Dubai 2020.
The forum is a flagship event of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, aiming to provide a platform for dialogue between the UAE, ASEAN and other global businesses and governments.
Organized from December 8-9, GBF Asean brought together other ministers from the government of the United Arab Emirates and ASEAN and brought together more than 40 speakers and 25 panel discussions focused on the changing dynamics of the countries of the ‘Asean and opportunities to increase bilateral trade, business and investment ties between the two regions.
âWe see complementarities in the resources that each of our countries has, which therefore brings more opportunities for trade and investment. We also appreciate the presence of over 700,000 OFWs in the UAE, the third largest group of foreign workers in the UAE, which is an important factor in the pursuit of trade in services, âsaid Lopez.
âWe also met the Minister of Foreign Trade, HE Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, as well as the Minister of State HE Ahmed bin Ali Al Sayegh to discuss possible partnerships for the creation of a joint commission on economic cooperation and trade between the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates which I hope will lead to a comprehensive economic partnership agreement down the road, âhe added.
Last year, the Philippines signed the Comprehensive Regional Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) with ASEAN member states, forming the world’s largest free trade area in terms of global trade, gross domestic product , foreign direct investment and market size.
âRCEP provides user-friendly trade mechanisms to facilitate trade with major trading partners through clear and transparent procedures. We look forward to using this partnership to further explore trade and investment opportunities with the UAE and other countries in the Gulf region, âLopez said.
Lopez met with leading UAE investors in logistics and port operations, vaccine manufacturing, AI-enabled computer systems, cold storage panel systems and the advisory group and halal certification.
Lopez assured investors that âthe Philippines remains on a high growth path as the country continues efforts to reopen the economy, and continued fiscal and administrative support will be provided as outlined in the CREATE Act, in addition to others. legislative measures that will facilitate restrictions on foreign stocks in key sectors.
âWe proposed to have an investment promotion and protection agreement, which we started before the pandemic. We hope to conclude this early next year. This agreement will certainly improve the confidence of Emirati investors in the Philippines. We will also offer the country as an investment destination for sovereign wealth funds, âhe said.
The trade chief was accompanied virtually to the World Business Forum by other government officials, including the secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, William Dar, and the secretary of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Fortunato de la Pena.
Lopez said a potential trade deal would give significant momentum to the Philippines’ agriculture, food, consumer goods, electrical and industrial products, and service sectors.
Lopez, who is also the Commissioner General-designate of the Philippines’ participation in the Dubai Expo 2020, also inspected the Philippine pavilion, as well as the pavilions of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, the United States and of DP World and other Dubai exhibition facilities. .
âThe Philippine pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai is proving to be a great showcase of our country’s rich history and heritage, also showcasing modern Filipinos of the present and the future,â said Lopez. (RP)