Ahmed bin Ali Al Sayegh, UAE Minister of State, and Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, spearheaded a prominent UAE delegation to Manila, Philippines.

The purpose of the visit was to explore and foster bilateral trade and investment opportunities, as well as promote private-sector collaboration in mutually beneficial sectors.

This visit occurred amidst the backdrop of escalating economic ties between the UAE and the Philippines. In the first half of 2023, bilateral non-oil trade between the two nations surged by 19.4% to reach an impressive $500 million, surpassing the figures from the corresponding period in 2022.

The visit also coincided with the announcement of discussions aimed at initiating a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which is expected to significantly enhance bilateral trade and investment flows.

During the discussions, both sides reaffirmed their commitment to deepening strategic trade and investment relations, particularly in the energy sector. Additionally, efforts were outlined to support the objectives of the upcoming United Nations Climate Conference (COP28) in Dubai.

Talks with Undersecretary Zeno A benoja of the Department of Finance focused on progressing towards the implementation of an Investments Protection and Promotion Agreement (BIPA), which had been signed between the two nations in June 2023.

The ministers actively participated in the UAE-Philippines Business Forum, engaging representatives from leading companies and investors in both countries. Al Sayegh and Al Zeyoudi highlighted a broad spectrum of collaborative opportunities across sectors such as clean energy, tourism, financial services, transportation, and logistics.

Al Sayegh emphasized that the forum provided a unique platform for business players to explore and establish pathways for joint projects, noting the significant strides made in strengthening economic and bilateral partnerships between the UAE and the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Al Zeyoudi promoted the advantages and incentives offered by the UAE’s dynamic business landscape to Filipino businesses and investors, citing the strategic location, world-class infrastructure, logistics capabilities, and pro-growth regulatory environment.

The business forum showcased investment and cooperation opportunities in various sectors, concluding with the signing of two memoranda of understanding (MoU) between the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI).

These agreements were witnessed by Al Sayegh and Al Zeyoudi.

Throughout their visit, the delegation held bilateral talks with key figures in the Philippines, including Frederick Go, Presidential Adviser on investment and economic affairs.

The delegation also conducted site visits to leading Filipino entities, identifying potential joint venture prospects across high-growth sectors, including conglomerates like JG Summit Holdings and the San Miguel Corporation, as well as critical infrastructure developer the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and utilities provider Meralco.

Last Updated: 27 November 2023