TRADE Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual met with his counterpart from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, to discuss possible investment in renewable energy (RE) and skills development, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said in a statement.

Mr. Pascual met with the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade in Jakarta on the sidelines of the 23rd ASEAN Economic Community Council Meeting on Sunday.

“During the meeting, both sides acknowledged the need to further enhance PHL-UAE bilateral trade, investment, and economic cooperation,” the DTI said.

It added that both sides looked forward to the implementation of the Philippines-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement.

In his speech at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2023 on Monday, Mr. Pascual called on the ASEAN industry leaders to mobilize their intellectual capital resources to spark innovation and keep their economies competitive.

“From strengthening traditional factors of production, we need to galvanize intellectual capital and innovation to maintain and explore new comparative advantages in the world market. Innovation is our catalyst for transformation,” he said.

Mr. Pascual said ASEAN needs to focus on governance frameworks for technology adoption, digital-based trade facilitation initiatives, smart agriculture and manufacturing, access to digital technology, cultural development and the acceleration of innovation in environmental sustainability. — Justine Irish D. Tabile