The Daily Manila Shimbun


Duterte may visit Saudi Arabia, Qatar next month

January 5, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte may undertake official visits to Saudi Arabia and Qatar next month after a business roadshow this month in the Middle East.

George Barcelon, president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), said in a forum in Quezon City that the Philippine Economic Zone Authority headed by Charito Plaza has organized a business roadshow from January 23 to 26 in Saudi Arabi, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

The purpose of the roadshow is "to attract Middle Eastern investors to come in," he said, adding that the Filipino businessmen will also promote Philippine products in the region considering a huge number of Filipino workers there.

He said they will also push for "Halal certification."

After the roadshow, he disclosed Duterte could have official trips to Saudi Arabia and Qatar in February.

Jess Varela of the International Chamber of Commerce-Philippines said this is the good time for the government to initiate roadshows abroad.

While to government has been addressing the peace and order problem in the country, Barcelon expressed hope that the administration would also do something about the electricity rate in the country, which is one of the highest in the region.

He stressed that power is "crucial" in order for the foreign investors to invest in the Philippines, which has a power rate comparable with Japan and Singapore. Celerina Monte/DMS