PH-UAE trade deals, investments seen to cement their economic cooperation

Following the recent signing of their bilateral investment agreement, the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have pushed for an even stronger economic ties.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) was concluded last February 11 during the visit of DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez in UAE for the Philippines’ National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai.

“The IPPA is modern, business friendly, and comprehensive, covering promotion, facilitation and protection of investments. The agreement provides for the establishment of a Joint Committee on Investments (JCI), which will serve as a platform to more closely coordinate and collaborate in implementing a focused investment promotion that create(s) greater impact to both our economies,” Lopez said in a statement Monday.

He said this is timely as the Philippines has just enacted the  amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, Foreign Investments Act, and Public Service Act, the key economic bills that will relax equity restrictions for foreign investors.

Aside from the conclusion of the IPPA, the two countries will start official negotiations for the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), a bilateral trade agreement.

Lopez said these initiatives “are expected to boost trade and investments between two countries, leading to more diversified economic cooperation and activities, development of new industries, employment generation, and higher consumer spending as we partner for shared prosperity.”

The DTI chief added that through the IPPA and CEPA, the Philippines may serve as a strategic hub for UAE in Southeast Asia.

Lopez met with UAE Minister of State Ahmed Ali al Sayegh and Foreign Trade Minister Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi  during his UAE official trip.