PH, Qatar set to finalize investment pact

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Bin Qassim Al-Abdullah Al-Thani of the Qatar Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI)

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

The Philippines and Qatar are moving closer to finalizing the Philippines-Qatar Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA), which aims to bolster economic ties between the two nations.

The announcement was made during the Qatar Economic Forum, where Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual met with Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Bin Qassim Al-Abdullah Al-Thani of the Qatar Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI).

Secretary Pascual expressed optimism about the agreement, noting, “The entry into force of the IPPA is expected to significantly deepen the economic ties between the Philippines and Qatar. We are confident that finalizing the ratification process will translate into productive investment figures contributing to our mutually shared prosperity.”

In addition to the IPPA, the DTI and MOCI have agreed to pursue a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to enhance cooperation on intellectual property rights (IPR) protection.

The MOU aims to facilitate the exchange of information and best practices, training programs, and high-level dialogues on IP policy.

The Philippine delegation highlighted the need for this cooperation in light of the proliferation of counterfeit Filipino brands in the Middle East, including Qatar.

The discussion at the forum also touched upon the creation of a business-friendly environment that would support greater trade, investment, and economic cooperation.

Both countries shared a vision of diversifying and expanding their economies through investments in infrastructure, integrated circuit design and manufacturing, and financial services.

Looking ahead, the inaugural Philippines-Qatar Joint Economic, Commercial, and Technical Committee (JECTC) meeting is scheduled for the first quarter of 2025.

Additionally, plans for a business forum and a business-to-business matching session on the sidelines of the JCETC were confirmed, reflecting the growing economic ties between the two nations.

“We are pleased with the progress made in this meeting and we are positive that the finalization of the IPPA ratification process will soon pave the way for its full implementation. The Philippines is eager to further strengthen its economic partnership with Qatar through enhanced investment flows and increased cooperation on intellectual property rights,” Pascual said.

The bilateral efforts are expected to not only benefit the two countries but also contribute to greater prosperity and stability in both the Gulf and Southeast Asia regions.

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