Philippine investment incentives ‘very encouraging’
February 16 2017 09:06 PM
(From left) Qatari entrepreneur Farhan al-Sayed, Peza director general Charito Plaza, Qatari entrepr
(From left) Qatari entrepreneur Farhan al-Sayed, Peza director general Charito Plaza, Qatari entrepreneurs Hassan al-Hakeem, Mohamed al-Adsani and Peza organising committee (Qatar) member Noroden Abdulhamed at the Philippine Investments Conference

The incentives being offered by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) for Qataris and other GCC businessmen mulling to invest in the Philippines are “very encouraging,” Qatari entrepreneur Farhan al-Sayed has said.

Speaking to Gulf Times on the sidelines of an investments conference in Doha yesterday, he noted that Peza’s zero taxes and customs duty, and VAT exemptions, 100% foreign owned entities, and a 75-year leasehold on land holdings will entice many Qatar businessmen to invest in the Philippines.

“The conference was the best way to introduce Philippine business market to Qatar, opening the possibilities for Qatar and the GCC to make direct investments and the opportunities are also there,” said al-Sayed, who met with Peza director general Charito Plaza at the event.

The senior Peza official was on “three-nation roadshow” in the Gulf (the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar) with top business leaders from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry aimed at attracting investments from the region into the Philippines.

The one-day event saw Qatari entrepreneurs, businessmen, embassy officials, other dignitaries, and members of the Filipino community taking part in a number of discussions, open forum, and networking opportunities.

According to Philippine embassy charge d’ affairs Roussel R Reyes, Plaza also met with Qatar’s Minister of Energy and Industry HE Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada and HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani yesterday.

Peza is opening investment opportunities in various sectors such as information technology, agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and medical tourism, among others, at hundreds of special economic zones located across the Philippines.

With competent Filipino workers, zero red tape, business-friendly policies, and competitively-priced rates in hundreds of special economic zones, al-Sayed sees the Philippine market as lucrative for Qatari businessmen.

“According to Plaza, the literacy rate in the Philippines is very high compared to other areas, there are a lot of young Filipinos who are graduating every year in very big numbers, so this is very good for the market,” he noted.

“So if you set up a business, it will be easy to hire qualified Filipinos which would help raise business standards,” added al-Sayed.

The Philippines’ strategic location between Asia and the Americas makes it an ideal place to do business, Plaza’s presentation showed.

As of October 2016, the Philippines has 73 manufacturing economic zones, 243 information technology parks/centres, 21 agro-industrial economic zones, 19 tourism economic zones, and 2 medical Tourism parks/centres.

Al-Sayed expressed confidence that a state visit of head of states will further boost business opportunities between Qatar and the Philippines.

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