Duterte visit to boost relations in several fields: Envoy
14 Apr 2017 - 22:20
President of the Republic of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte being received at the Hamad International Airport by Minister of Energy and Industry H E Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada
The Philippines is looking forward to a fruitful three-day state visit of President Rodrigo Duterte who arrived in Doha last night in the final leg of his Middle East tour.
In a press conference prior to the arrival of President Duterte yesterday, Philippine Ambassador Alan Timbayan said the Qatari government is ‘enthusiastic’ about the President’s visit and he was hopeful the President’s first official visit to Qatar will yield positive results in various areas of Philippines-Qatar bilateral cooperation.
Highlighting the economic cooperation between the two countries, Timbayan noted that the Philippines is set to benefit from a bilateral agreement on reciprocal promotion and protection of investments if it is signed during the President’s visit.
“We are looking forward to the signing of a bilateral agreement on the promotion and protection of investments. If this will be inked during the visit of the President, it is expected to open a lot of investments to the Philippines because Qatar wants to diversify its investments and looks towards the Philippines as a good place where to place its investments,” Timbayan said at a press conference at the Philippine Embassy yesterday.
The Doha leg of Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) investment roadshow in February have been a success with several pledges from Qatari businessmen. A number of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) on investment pledges are expected to be signed during Duterte’s visit.
“When PEZA Director General Charito Plaza came here and presented an investment road show, emphasizing the stability and the viability of doing better business in the Philippines as well as the stability of President Rodrigo Duterte’s government, there were some prospective businessmen who manifested their intention to invest in the Philippines, in fact PEZA received several pledges from businessmen to invest,” he said.
He pointed out the possibility of a meeting between Qatar’s labour ministry and Philippine Secretary of Labour and Employment Silvestre H. Bello III.
“There is a possibility that the Secretary of Labour and Employment of the Philippines Silvestre H. Bello III will meet with the Ministry of Labour. We expect labour issues will be discussed during this meeting,” said Timbayan.
“During my call with the Minister for Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, Dr Issa bin Saad Juffali Al Naimi, he acknowledged the contributions of the Filipino workers here in the development of Qatar and I express my gratitude and thanks to the Minister for the continued support and hospitality extended to our workers here who have made Qatar their second home,” he added.
Duterte is expected to meet around 6,000 Filipinos in Qatar tonight at Lusail Multipurpose Hall, a major highlight of his visit to Qatar where he had a landslide win during the elections last year.
“In the recent elections conducted here in Qatar, around 15,000 of about 44,000 registered voters cast their votes. The President got about 80 percent of the total votes cast, in other words, it was a landslide victory,” said Timbayan.
Whenever he has trips abroad, meetings with overseas Filipinos have become an important part of itinerary of Duterte, who has made caring for overseas Filipinos a top priority.