Several LoIs signed at Qatar Philippines Food Security Summit
06 Oct 2017 - 1:04
The recently concluded Qatar Philippines Food Security Summit (QPFSS) has yielded positive outcomes with a number of companies signing Letters of Intent (LOI) with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, said Joseph Timothy Rivera, PEZA Consultant and Special Adviser to the Director General for the Middle East and Northern Europe.
The summit, which was held on September 25 at the City Centre Rotana Doha, witnessed the participation of at least six Philippine companies in the food processing and export business and 11 Qatari food importing companies. Rivera said QPFSS concluded with five eco-zone locators signing LoI’s with PEZA Director General Charito B. Plaza, with an initial investment pledge of PHP70m. These companies included New Methods for Services, which will open business consulting services within ecozones; Al Adaam SPA, which will be a wellness locator in select tourist ecozones in Iloilo, Cebu and Tagaytay; JAPA Garments which will be expanding its existing garments manufacturing operations to the Pampanga Economic Zone while LiQha Enterprises & JRENS Food Trading Philippines will be opening export companies for food exports to Qatar.
A supply agreement involving a weekly shipment of more than 66 tons of bananas from Davao to Doha is now under negotiation and more commodity items are expected to follow, confirmed Rivera. On top of the vast hectares of Philippine government owned ancestral domain lands that could be outsourced by Qatari farm operators, two real estate companies from the private sector namely the Philippine Countryside Homes and Homeland Development Company being the Philippine representative company of BGS-BLQ Consortium and Doha-based Direct Real Estate presented agricultural and agro-tourism land mostly from the provinces of Iloilo, Guimaras, Cebu and Cavite with a total of no less than 16,000 hectares available both for either 75-year leaseholds and joint ventures. Three local companies have manifested interest in these lands and have already received the relevant portfolios.
On the sidelines of the summit, Plaza attended a briefing at the Philippine Embassy during which Consul General Roussel Reyes Jr had pledged to assist PEZA in gathering the necessary information for a possible MOU with Manateq Economic Zones Company and other port and trade route agreements with other stakeholders in the food industry, said Rivera.
Plaza also met with existing Philippine ecozone investors who signed LOI’s during the recent state visit of President Rodrigo Duterte such as the GBS-BLQ Consortium and Final Touch Trading who briefed the Director General on the status of their corporate formation legalities and project site prospects in the Philippines.
Plaza led the inauguration of the Doha branch office of Megaworld International, one of the largest ecozone and IT park developers in the Philippines represented in Qatar by the Al Hakeem Group. PEZA is its participating in the Philippine Trade & Tourism Conference –Qatar to be held at the Shangri-La Doha on October 20, said Rivera, adding a Qatar business mission to the Philippines is likely to follow as it will soon be proposed to the Philippine Embassy and the Qatar Chamber of Commerce.