PH, Qatar ink agreements on tourism, agri, investments

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MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines and Qatar signed 4 bilateral agreements and one private sector agreement seen to boost cooperation in investments, tourism, fisheries and the legal field. 

The Emir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani who is on 2-day a state visit, and President Benigno Aquino III witnessed the signing of the agreements at the Palace Reception Hall after their bilateral meeting, among them a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Qatar Holding Limited Liability Corporation.

"This MOU would explore the investment opportunities in the Philippines in various sectors including natural resources, commodities, energy, agriculture, and infrastructure," Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda told reporters during a briefing on Tuesday, April 10. 

According to Lacierda, the MOUs cover:
  • Tourism - expected to create favorable conditions for long-term cooperation in tourism for the mutual benefit of the Philippines and Qatar." It will likewise "strengthen the friendly relations between the two countries and underscores the importance of tourism as a mainstay of the economy of both countries.
  • Agricultural and fisheries - establishes the general framework for cooperation in the fields of agriculture and fisheries for the purpose of fostering sectoral development and enhancing agri-related trade and investment. The areas of cooperation include crops technology, vegetable and fruit preservation, biotechnology, post-harvest technology, livestock and fisheries, coastal and deep-sea fishing management, irrigation and water resources, and the Halal industry.
  • Legal field - encourages the sharing of experiences and best practices in the performance of the mandates of the countries' respective ministries of justice.
  • Joint Business Council (JBC) between the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Qatari Chamber of Commerce and Industry - a new agreement to strengthen the cooperation between the private sectors of the Philippines and Qatar to facilitate continuous interaction and increase trade and economic cooperation between the two friendly countries.

It is the first visit of the Emir of Qatar to the Philippines, who was feted to a state dinner in his honor at Malacanang's Rizal Hall after the signing ceremony.
 
Previously, Qatar Telcom (Qtel) invested in a telecommunications group in the Philippines after former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo made a 3-day state visit to Doha in 2008. 

Qtel and local conglomerate San Miguel Corp are partners in Liberty Telecom Holdings Inc, which offers wireless broadband Internet services under the trade name wi-Tribe.
 
Original source: Rappler
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