The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) represented the Philippines during the Qatar Economic Forum 2024 and engaged in high-level discussions with Qatari officials to explore opportunities for strengthening bilateral economic ties and attracting investments to the Philippines.

DTI Secretary Alfredo E Pascual, who led the Philippine delegation, also participated in the panel discussion ‘Creating Competitive Economies’ where he joined Ryad Mezzour, the Minister of Industry and Trade of Morocco, and Mehmet Simsek, the Minister of Treasury and Finance of Turkiye.

In an interview with Gulf Times, Pascual said the DTI engaged in high-level discussions with Qatari officials and businesses as part of its plan to strengthen the economic and trade ties between Qatar and the Philippines during the Philippines participation in the Qatar Economic Forum.

“We aim to share how our nation is pioneering policies and frameworks to promote and attract investment opportunities in the Philippines, explore avenues for collaboration, and address any trade barriers to ensure that these investments yield positive economic returns and contribute to shared prosperity,” Pascual emphasised.

On the sidelines of the economic forum, Pascual held a meeting with HE the Minister of Commerce and Industry Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad bin Qassim al-Thani to discuss ways to enhance bilateral economic ties, including key areas of co-operation.

He explained that the DTI’s visit to Qatar aims to push forward current discussions on various economic co-operation initiatives, including a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on food security with the Ministry of Public Health, where the DTI will collaborate on a ‘trusted exporter programme’ that will ensure that Philippine food exports meet Qatari health and safety standards while streamlining the process for trusted exporters.

This also includes an MoU on intellectual property rights protection with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI), Pascual said, noting that the MoU will facilitate the exchange of information and best practices, training programmes, and high-level dialogues on IP policy.

“We also discussed the finalisation of the ratification process of the Philippines-Qatar Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement signed in 2017 between DTI and MoCI. The Philippines completed its ratification procedures in April 2024, while Qatar targets to finalise its ratification process within the year.

“The DTI and MoCI also discussed holding the inaugural Philippines-Qatar Joint Economic, Commercial, and Technical Committee (JECTC) meeting in the first quarter of 2025,” Pascual pointed out.

Pascual added: “We represented the Philippines at the ‘4th Qatar Economic Forum to discuss and promote the Philippines’ initiatives to global stakeholders. We will also discuss the Philippines’ ongoing efforts to create a robust business environment, emphasising the country’s commitment to sustainable growth and economic resilience. A part of this is to engage in high-level discussions with Qatari officials to explore opportunities for strengthening bilateral economic ties and attracting investments to the Philippines.

“Additionally, the QEF provides a valuable platform for us to showcase our potential as a premier investment destination in Southeast Asia while facilitating discussions towards stronger economic partnerships with key players in the Gulf region. We also aim to foster dialogue and collaboration to explore the Gulf’s strategic standing as the world navigates global complexities and uncertainties.”
Related Story