Philippines Minister of Trade and Industry, Ramon Lopez, said on Sunday that the agreement on mutual promotion and protection of investment signed during President Rodrigo Duterte's official visit to Qatar would open the doors to large amounts of investment in both countries and provide Qatari investors with the conducive climate to invest in the Philippines.
In a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA) on the sidelines of the Qatari-Philippine Business Forum, Lopez said the Philippines, which currently hosts large investments from a number of countries around the world, will provide guarantees for Qatari investments.
In terms of areas of investment in the Philippines, he said many Qatari investors have entered into discussions with their Filipino counterparts to seek potential partnerships in activities such as economic zone development and other types of businesses and investments relating to tourism, real estate development, and agriculture.
Investment in the Philippines would bring the annual average growth rate to 6.8%, especially in the manufacturing industry, which has grown on the average by 8% and plays a significant role as an engine of growth and employment creation, he said.
These are all key factors for investors in the Philippines, he stressed. 
On Philippine investments in Qatar, the minister said that a number of Filipinos invest in construction, real estate development and transportation sectors in Qatar, adding that many of them also work as engineers in Qatari and Filipino companies operating in Doha.
The Philippines-Qatar Business Forum held on Sunday in the presence of President Rodrigo Duterte provided a platform to review investment opportunities and guarantees offered to Qatari investors in the Philippines, Lopez added.
The Filipino minister pointed out that the volume of trade between the two countries has not yet reached the required level, stressing in this regard the need to boost trade relations.
The Philippines-Qatar Business Forum provided President Duterte with the opportunity to address Qatari businessmen and brief them on the latest economic developments in the Philippines along with the ongoing economic plans and reforms, Lopez said. 
On the other hand, Director General of Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Charito Plaza said she wishes to expand existing partnerships between businessmen in both countries.
Plaza described Qatari investors' interest as very positive, especially that President Duterte thrives to make the Philippines the second strongest economy in Asia, hence he is working on protecting the foreign investor and combating administrative corruption in the country.
She said that on Sunday Qatari investors expressed their interest in the Philippines, announcing investments of $206mn (nearly QR752mn) in industrial areas that focus on manufacturing, processing, refineries, medical field, tourism and industrial defence.
Plaza said that the most important investments in her country focus on agriculture, halal food and tourism, adding that some investors are leasing land to establish tourist cities and destinations.
The Philippines, which exports some agriculture products to Qatar, enjoys a strategic location in the heart of the Pacific Ocean which makes it a suitable location for the distribution of goods.
The Philippines also provides young labour with the world's highest literacy rate, Plaza added.
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