Qatari investors, especially those eyeing to expand their businesses in Philippines, stand to gain from plans to ease Covid-19 restrictions that would allow the resumption of business travels to the Southeast Asian nation.
The Philippine government may soon allow foreign investors, such as those from Qatar and other Middle East countries, to resume business travels to the Southeast Asian country, said Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) director general Charito Plaza.
Plaza made the statement during the launching of ‘Global Biz with Peza’, a monthly forum discussing investment opportunities in the Philippines. The launch was one of the highlights of Peza’s 26th anniversary celebration held recently.
Peza has been bullish in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows from Qatar and its regional neighbours. In previously held virtual forums, Plaza underscored Qatar’s role in helping the Philippines develop its Islamic banking industry, among other sectors that could be infused with Qatari investment capital.
During the ‘Global Biz with Peza’ forum, Plaza stressed that foreign investors with interest to the Philippines, especially those from the Middle East with Qatar, in particular, would soon be able to visit the country “with major local banks ready to provide institutional finance.”
“We are now just waiting for the relevant directives of the Inter Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) on the vaccine status for the business sector wherein Peza has made representations to both the IATF and the Department of Health (DoH) for the priority vaccinations to ecozone locators, as well as both existing and new investors,” Plaza said.
Peza deputy director general for Planning and Policy Theo Panga added: “The easing of travel restrictions with the removal of banned countries, foreign investors will soon be able to enter the Philippines for official activities essential to the country’s economy, such as investment delegations provided that they obtain a Philippine ‘9A’ or ‘9G’ visa and be cleared from Covid-19 testing and quarantine upon arrival.”
The forum also focused on credit facilities for both economic zone locators and developers. The Philippine National Bank presented its comprehensive financial solutions for the institutional banking sector and highlighted its global trade services.
The Philippine Central Bank underscored the potential of Islamic finance, while the Development Bank of the Philippines announced that it is offering 15-year term loans for projects in infrastructure and logistics, environment, social security and community development, agri-business, and MSMEs.
During Peza’s 26th anniversary celebrations, Plaza virtually conferred the ‘Galing Pinas Ecozone Investment Partnership Award 2021’ to three of Peza’s Doha-based ‘Investment Promotions Partners (KaPIPPs) for the Middle East’.
The recipients are Joseph Timothy Rivera of the Association of Filipino Realtors & Entrepreneur Executives in Qatar (Afreeq), Greg Loayon of the Philippine Business Council Qatar (PBC-Q), and Ashraf Siddiqui.