Philippines Utilizes UAE Pact to Attract Investments

Manila – The Board of Investments (BOI) is set to leverage the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) between the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to attract more investments. This move follows the recent conclusion of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary and BOI Chairman Alfredo Pascual’s official trip to Dubai, where he engaged with potential UAE-based investors interested in establishing or expanding operations in the Philippines.

According to Philippines News Agency, During a press briefing on Tuesday, Pascual announced that six companies from sectors including services, renewables, real estate, remittances, and Islamic banking have expressed interest in investing in the Philippines. BOI Governor Marjorie Ramos-Samaniego highlighted the timeliness of the Philippine delegation’s visit to Dubai, given the full implementation of the IPPA.

Samaniego explained that the IPPA provides a rules-based framework for promoting, facilitating, and protecting investments. Investors from the UAE will be afforded national treatment, most favored nation treatment, and will not face discrimination compared to EU or US investors. The agreement guarantees fair and equitable treatment, full protection and security for investments, freedom from expropriation, and free transfer of capital goods, among other benefits.

The IPPA was negotiated at the height of the pandemic and concluded during Dubai’s hosting of the World Expo 2020 in 2022. With this enabling investment environment, the Philippines expects more UAE companies to invest in the country. BOI data shows that net foreign direct investments from the UAE in 2021 and 2022 remained flat at PHP143 million, with approved investments in 2021 amounting to PHP19.97 million in the agriculture, forestry, and fishing sectors, and no approved foreign investments in the following year.