President of PCCI Highlights to QNA Importance of HH the Amir’s Visit for Business Sector in Philippines

HE President of Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Enunina Mangio affirmed that the visit of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to Manila, is extremely important for the business sector in her country, pointing out that the Filipino business sector aspires to create a true partnership with its counterpart in the State of Qatar, to serve the development goals of the two countries.

In an interview with Qatar News Agency , HE President Mangio said that the state visit of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to Manila is a significant event for the Philippine’s business sector, as it represents Qatar’s sincere interest in contributing to the Philippine’s development goals.

This visit by HH the Amir strengthens the steps towards commercial partnership through PCCI and Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI), considering that the two chambers are channels for business ventures, she added.

Her Excellency pointed out several activities through which communication can be encouraged, s
uch as roundtable meetings, international expositions, conferences, summits, exchange of trade and investment missions, roadshows, and other similar activities that would spark interest between Philippine and Qatari entrepreneurs.

She affirmed that these various activities will encourage communication and coordination between businesspersons in both countries, leading to the establishment of a Philippines/Qatar Business Center to serve as a venue for business interactions.

Her Excellency indicated that the partnership between PCCI and QCCI began in 2008 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen trade and investment relations between the two business communities, adding that, to achieve this, PCCI formed a core group to liaise its programs and activities with QCCI.

She stressed that both sides need to make bigger efforts to accomplish the objectives of the MoU. In 2023, officers from PCCI and QCCI met virtually and identified initial sectors of common interest, such as tourism an
d real estate, agriculture, energy, and healthcare, among others, she added.

HE President of PCCI highlighted the chamber’s keenness to develop relations with the Qatari business sector and transform these relations into profitable projects that serve the goals of both parties and the two friendly countries, pointing out that, during the last meeting between the two chamber held in May 2023, PCCI cited the opportunities in the areas of tourism and real estate, agriculture, furniture, energy, healthcare, logistics, and financial technology.

Carrying the interests of its 35,000 direct and indirect members spread across the country, PCCI will tap its network to help Qatari investors find the most aspired business partners in the country, she added, expressing her aspiration for the State of Qatar’s contribution to modernizing and developing the vital sectors in her country by encouraging innovation.

Since the Philippines is still predominantly an agricultural country, Qatar may participate in the country’s mo
dernization program through funding of innovation support activities to include research and development centers, innovation hubs, food production, and processing like dairy, she added.

In this context, HE President Mangio noted that, PCCI met with Baladna Qatar Company representatives in 2023, to look for business partners for its ventures in the Philippines.

She expected the Philippines to attract more investments in the coming years in light of new investment laws and regulations, saying: “the passage of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 11966 or the Public-Partnership Code last March 21 is expected to attract more foreign investors to invest in 185 infrastructure projects worth P 9.14 trillion.” “45 of those projects will be under PPP. Investors are also needed to develop the country’s road networks and trimodal transportation facilities,” she added.

“Another area that might be of interest to Qatari companies is the tourism sector where more world-class facilities and related infra
structures are needed to meet the growing demand of foreign tourists,” she said, pointing out that, according to the latest data from the Department of Tourism, 1.2 million tourists visited her country from January to February 2024 alone, and that Philippines tourist arrivals are expected to reach 8.21 in 2024.

In a related context, Her Excellency said that Qatar might also be interested in investing in financial technology, which is an emerging growth industry driver in her country, explaining that, as of August 2023, there were 299 fintech firms, according to the Fintech Map Philippines Report, since the Philippines is a center for fintech due to a high number of mobile users and the majority of the Philippines is still unbanked.

She encouraged foreign investors and companies to participate in health-related programs and projects, such as building specialized hospitals and manufacturing vaccines, medicines, and medical supplies to confront health challenges. She also invited Qatari investors to assist in
the development of the Philippine halal industry, adding “we are working on a halal forum in July 2024 to bridge the gaps and identify specific strategies to harness this billion-dollar industry.” Her Excellency expressed her aspirations to find investors for the ‘Pambansang Pabahay’ mass housing development program, which targets 6 million houses in 6 years (or 1 million a year) to address the housing backlog, especially among the poor and marginalized sector.

In this context, she stressed PCCI’s interest in having in-depth discussions with QCCI regarding trade and investment opportunities that the two chambers can promote, pointing out that the MoU signed between the two countries aimed to create a direct communication channel for future cooperation. “We will make the most of this partnership to strengthen our alliance with the Qatari business sector,” she added.

She also said that PCCI and QCCI have signed an MoU to establish a Joint Business Council (JBC), which will serve as the implementing arm of the
two national chambers of commerce and will be composed of representatives from diverse industries. “The council will focus on implementing promotional activities related to trade, investment, technology transfer, services, and other related sectors,” she added.

Her Excellency Enunina Mangio expressed her aspiration to discuss the composition of the JBC and the inaugural meeting, which can take place in either Manila or Doha, pointing out that JBC is a crucial mechanism for crafting the two chambers’ agenda and ensuring that goals are translated into tangible results that benefit companies and entrepreneurs alike.

She also stressed the importance of strengthening the partnership with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, noting that PCCI acknowledges economic strength of the GCC countries, which explains the mechanisms, meetings, and joint activities between the two sides to develop cooperation.

HE President of Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Enunina Mangio concluded her interview with Q
NA by emphasizing her country’s keenness and commitment to establish a strong economic alliance and friendly relations with its QCCI partners, to serve as a bridge for Qatari companies in the Philippines.

Source: Qatar News Agency