RP eyes agribusiness investments from Middle East

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Philippine Daily Inquirer | 11/25/2009

By Riza T. Olchondra

THE PHILIPPINE AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT and Commercial Corp. is set to meet with several groups from the Middle East that are exploring investment opportunities in the Philippines, particularly in the food sector.

These groups want to secure steady supply of certain types of food, it said.

PADCC president Marriz Agbon said a delegation from the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce would be in Manila on Friday and Saturday for a briefing on potential investment sites in the Philippines.

The group from Bahrain, composed of representatives from six private companies, are interested in mariculture (saltwater farming of aquatic plants and animals).

“We’ll show them the list of locations for mariculture in the country,” Agbon said.

He said there was no indication yet on how much these companies were intending to invest in the Philippines.

It is Bahrain’s second investment mission to the Philippines after the Nader & Ebrahim S/O Hassan (NEH) forged a P300-million agribusiness project with the AMA Group Holdings Corp. The Bahraini group plans to produce crops to be sold both locally and to Bahrain and other markets.

After Bahrain, PADCC is also working on having similar meetings with business leaders from Qatar and Kuwait.

Qatar is reportedly interested in growing basmati rice while Kuwait wants to go into banana production.

Agbon said the investors would be linked with local companies who can help in their ventures.

Also in May, Bahrain expressed interest to invest in shrimp production at the Carmen Integrated Aquaculture Park.

The park currently grows tilapia but it can very well accommodate bannamae (white shrimp) production.

PADCC also linked early this year a Saudi company with Filipino firm AgriNurture Inc. (ANI), Agbon said.

ANI, the first agribusiness company to list on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Saudi-based Far East Agricultural Holding Corp.

Far East, an umbrella group of 10 Saudi Arabian companies engaged in the production of poultry, livestock, fruits, grains and cereals, will venture into saba and cavendish banana production.
Original source: Philippine Daily Inquirer
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