Philippines to discuss bilateral trade ties with Dubai investors

DUBAI - Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will arrive here on Sunday to discuss with business leaders ways to boos bilateral trade between Philippines and Dubai. Dubai's imports from the Philippines reached over Dh679 million in 2006 and non-oil trade with that country amounted to Dh788.3 million.

By Jose Franco

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Published: Fri 25 Jan 2008, 10:39 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:35 PM

Arroyo will also explore new areas of co-operation between her country and the UAE, which mostly imports machinery, electrical and electronics equipment, vegetable products, textiles, prepared foodstuff, toys and furniture from the Philippines, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry said.

The Philippine President will be coming from the Swiss ski-resort town of Davos, where she had lunch with leaders of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) member-states yesterday and held bilateral meetings and dinner with other world and business leaders on her second day at the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Dubai Chamber, which has 75 Philippine firms among its 107,563 individual and corporate members, will host a business luncheon for Arroyo, who is going to deliver the keynote speech after an introduction by Philippine Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Favila.

Francisco Ed. Lim, president of Philippine Stock Exchange, the executive director of the Philippines' Board of Investments Celeste Ilagan and Ma. Victoria AÒonuevo, senior vice-president of Manila-based property developer Ayala Land Corporation, will talk about investment potential in their country during the programme.

Data released by Dubai Chamber indicate that exports by its members to the Philippines surged 321.6 per cent to Dh72.52 million in 2007 from Dh17.2 million the previous year.

They also show that Dubai's export and re-export to the Philippines reached Dh109.3 million in 2006. These products include base metals and related items; machinery, electrical and electronics equipment; vehicles, aircraft and transport equipment; plastic and rubber items and prepared foodstuff.

There are some 250,000 Filipinos in the UAE, making it one of the major host-countries for the more than 10 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), whose billions of dollars in annual remittances have helped keep the Philippine economy afloat.

UAE-based Filipinos sent home Dh102.3 million ($27.85 million) in November, a 40.3 per cent drop from Dh171.5 million ($46.7 million) the previous month due to the continued appreciation of the dirham against the US dollar.

But money coursed through banks for the 11-month period since January 2007 rose 32.9 per cent to Dh1.84 billion from Dh1.4 billion ($378 million) a year earlier.

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