PGMA's high level credibility, rapport key to more investors
by Jemin B. Guillermo
Roxas City (5 February) -- The high level of credibility and rapport of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo with leaders of Gulf states have become one of the key factors for businessmen to invest in the Philippines.
Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, who accompanied President Arroyo in her two-day working visit to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, said that Saudi Arabia officials have expressed their strong intention to invest in the Philippines because the President enjoys a "high level of credibility and rapport" with leaders of the Gulf states.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia told President Arroyo on Tuesday that he is sending a high-level business mission to the Philippines in April to look for investment opportunities in the Philippine agriculture sector.
Yap said that the business mission will be headed by Saudi Arabia's ministers of commerce and agriculture.
He revealed that the Saudi monarch has formed an inter-agency committee composed of the ministries of foreign affairs, agriculture, commerce and industry to come up with an investment program for agriculture in foreign countries, especially in the Philippines.
Yap explained that these investments in agricultural projects in foreign countries are aimed to meet Saudi Arabia's increasing demand for fruits, vegetables and livestock.
During the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. the governor of the Saudi investment authority requested a meeting with President Arroyo to discuss possible investments in the Philippines, he said.
Yap stressed that the Philippine government expects to finalize the proposed investment agreements when the Saudi ministers of agriculture and commerce arrive in the country this coming April.
Meanwhile, Yap disclosed that the Saudi government has already forged an investment agreement with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on the establishment of a five-star hotel, Raffles and Fairmont, on Ayala in Makati City. (PIA) [top]