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New trade deal seen to double UAE investments in the Philippines

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The Philippines-United Arab Emirates (UAE) Investment Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments Agreement (IPPA) aims to to double the UAE investments into the Philippines as the country hopes to dip into the $680-billion sovereign funds of the Middle Eastern country.

Trade Undersecretary for trade and promotions and Board of Investments (BOI) managing head Ceferino Rodolfo said the likelihood of doubling Emirati investments into the Philippines is possible in the near term.

“It is highly feasible that investments from the UAE will double by next year. Since both sides have already undertaken their respective internal processes necessary for the effectivity of the agreement, it is now time to establish the Joint Committee on Investment for collaboration on investment areas of mutual interest to realize more UAE investments in the Philippines,” Rodolfo told reporters in an update on the Philippines’ participation to the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP28).

The UAE ranked 22nd in terms of net foreign direct investments into the country in 2022. It is also the Philippines’ 17th trading partner and the second-leading destination of overseas Filipino workers last year.

BOI governor Marjorie Ramos-Samaniego, the lead negotiator of the Philippines for the IPPA, said that while the UAE showed deep interest to further their investments into the Philippines, investors were already looking into large to huge projects where they can participate or bring into the country.

“Even at the height of the pandemic, there were already collaborations with UAE and they really push to Purdue this. They really wanted to go through the infusion of infusion of investments into the Philippines.And the now with the ratification of the IPPA, we see these investment materializing following the visit of the Secretary [Alfredo Pascual],” she said.

Under the IPPA, the UAE investor will be given the most favored nation (MFN) treatment.

“They will not be discriminated against the EU and the US. They will be given our fair and equitable treatment and full protection and security on their investments, and freedom from exploitation and free transfer of capital, among others,” Samaniego said.

The President ratified the IPPA on Dec. 2, 2023, following the official signing of the agreement by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade on June 9 2022 in Dubai.


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