Envoy urges PH to boost exports to Qatar

Philippine ambassador to Qatar Lillibeth Pono

DOHA – Export of more products could further enhance both bilateral trade and relations between the Philippines and Qatar.

During the two-day business matching session in Doha, Qatar that concluded on Thursday, Philippine ambassador to Qatar Lillibeth Pono said 2021 annual bilateral trade between Qatar and Philippines was around US$224 million, of which $46 million were exports from the Philippines.

Pono said this gap in the balance of payment in favor of Qatar can be minimized considering an International Trade Center report citing the Philippines has the potential to increase its exports of food and agri-based products to Qatar by over USD19 million.

“These are not only trade of products in Qatar market, it is promoting the Philippines in this region,” she said, adding that Philippine products meet global quality standards, are marketable and can stand the of up and down dynamics in the global trade environment.

Pono said Filipino products and personal health care are not just for Filipinos and Asians but these also cater to the taste of all other cultures, noting enormous opportunities to enhance trade between both the countries.

She said Qatar ranks 41st among the trade partners of the Philippines. Qatar is home to over 260,000 Filipinos and large number of other Asian expatriates which means that a substantial size of Qatari population has similar tastes.

In the same event, Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC) Assistant Secretary Glenn Peñaranda thanked the ambassador for her presence and support to the visiting delegation and the Philippine products. He said his delegation was not visiting just to trade their products but also pursue mutually beneficial business relations.

Peñaranda noted that the Philippines is blessed with fertile lands, rich and diversified marine resources and highly skilled manpower, which can serve the mainstream market of Qatar.

He headed the 14-member Filipino exporters’ delegation to the business matching event in Qatar organized by the embassy of Philippines in Qatar, in collaboration with the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry.

The delegation, which is on its way to Dubai, the 4th and last leg of its visit to the Gulf countries, arrived in Qatar after visiting Bahrain and Kuwait.

The business matching event in Qatar was also attended by Charmaine Mignon Yalong, Commercial Attache for Middle East and Africa; Greg Loayon, chairperson of the Philippines Business Group Qatar; Qatar-based representatives of importers of food stuff companies; and members of Philippines business community. (PNA)