Posted on October 28, 2016

The Philippines plans to build various economic zones across the country especially in Mindanao area, home to a sizeable population of Filipino-Muslims, to attract foreign investors from the Middle East, said Charito Plaza, director-general of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) on Thursday. 

The official is in Doha to talk about the initiatives of PEZA and share investment opportunities in the Philippines for Qataris and other foreign investors during the two-day Philippine Property & Investment Show in Qatar (PPIS-Q) taking place at Splash Water Park in Katara from October 28. Talking to the local media, Plaza said they are eyeing to build special economic zones in the field of tourism, information technology, education, agriculture and halal industry across the Philippines and not just in Luzon. A defence industrial complex that will be opened to manufacturers of aircrafts, guns and drones from different nations, not only exclusive to US or its ally countries, is also part of the plan. Plaza wants to build ecozones in Mindanao which she said is an ideal location for investors from the Middle East region. Currently, there are only four PEZA owned and operated ecozones, three in Luzon and one in Visayas. 

"Right now we only have Japanese, Taiwanese, Korean, American and British investors in our economic zones. The Middle East would be a very good partner for the Philippines especially in Mindanao economic zones. I want to complete the Philippine map of the different economic zones so when we will be hosting the ASEAN in April 2017 we can already see a complete map of different economic zones in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. We will recommend to investors from Qatar and other Muslim nations to invest first in Mindanao where majority of Filipino-Muslims are. Once we have completed the map and identified the different economic zones throughout the country, I will come back to Doha and bring the owners of economic zones so we can sit down immediately with possible investors here," the Filipino official said.

Plaza said with the recent developments in the Philippines through the leadership of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte the Southeast Asian country has become even more ready to receive foreign investors. PEZA, she said, is the ideal partner agency for such transactions given the attractive incentives devised by the office to realise the goal of the Duterte government to lure more investors leading to creation of more jobs and opportunities for Filipinos. Plaza will be delivering a speech at the opening of PPIS-Q together with Deputy Speaker Sharon Garin of the Philippine House of Representatives, Philippine Ambassador to Qatar HE Wilfredo Santos, Al Nitaq Real Estate Executive Director HE Sheikh Abdulla Khalifa Abdulla al Thani and Chairman of the Association of Filipino Real Estate Executives in Qatar (AFREEQ) Joseph Timothy Rivera.

The property show which will conclude on October 29 is being organised by AFREEQ in partnership with ALAQAT Events and Advertising.

source: Qatar Tribune