Qatar–Philippines Food Security Summit promises hope
18 Jul 2017 - 2:34
By Raynald C Rivera / The Peninsula
The Philippines is set to present the enormous potential its agro-industry sector can offer towards achieving food security at the upcoming Qatar – Philippines Food Security Summit slated on September 18.
Preparations are underway for the summit to be hosted by Management Solutions Consultants WLL (MSI) under the auspices of Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) which presented the Philippine Investment Conference in February this year.
During the state visit of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Qatar last April, PEZA signed 13 business to business deals worth $206m in various areas. “Investments were mostly in tourism eco-zones and retirement villages. This time, we want to explore agro-industry and food security, which the Philippines has so much to offer,” Joseph Timothy Rivera, Qatar-based PEZA Special Advisor to the Director General for Middle East and Northern Europe, said yesterday.
Recently, a number of Qatari and expatriate businesses in the food and agricultural sector have looked to import food from alternative source markets, while some have considered outsourcing food production.
In response to this, MSI has launched an inter-chamber dialogue with local stakeholders during which the Philippines has been proposed as a source for their current needs.
MSI was one of the companies that signed intentions to branch out in the Philippines as an ecozone services provider during the recent visit of President Duterte.
To higlight this initiative, MSI Managing Director Adel Sa’adeh has announced the hosting of the food security summit which will see the convergence of food industry-related companies in Qatar and efficient food suppliers from the Philippines. Sa’adeh, who is the only non-Filipino Special Advisor to the PEZA Director General for the Middle East expressed confidence the huge potentials and high quality standards of Philippine food growers would satisfy the needs of the Qatari market.
To complement the leading local food industry players who will be attending the summit, Sa’adeh also said that PEZA Director General Charito B Plaza, Philippine Ambassador to Qatar Allan Timbayan and a contingent of resource persons from the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) will be invited to grace the event.