INVESTMENTS from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) could double next year after the ratification of the Philippines-UAE Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA), according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

“Just the mere fact that we have ratified the IPPA would significantly increase our investments from the UAE. I think we can expect that investments could easily double by next year,” Trade Undersecretary and Board of Investments (BoI) Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo said at a briefing on Monday. 

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. signed the Philippines-UAE IPPA on Nov. 29. The agreement had been signed by the UAE on June 9, 2022 in Dubai.

Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual called IPPAs modern, business-friendly and comprehensive agreements to protect and facilitate investment.

“I look forward to the implementation of the agreement, especially as both sides are exploring other possible investments and cooperation in areas like renewable energy, research and development, and skills development,” Mr. Pascual said.

The IPPA is expected to create favorable conditions for UAE investment. It covers national treatment, most-favored nation treatment, transfers, freedom from expropriation, and access to investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms, among others. 

The Philippines is also expected to tap the $680-billion sovereign wealth fund run by the Dubai Investment Authority, according to BoI Governor Marjorie O. Ramos-Samaniego.

“With the ratification, our investment promotions are now in full swing. It is important to note as well that the sovereign wealth fund of the UAE, which is under the Dubai Investment Authority, is almost $680 billion in assets. It is now high time that we go for it to place investments in the Philippines,” she said.

Special Envoy of the President to the UAE for Trade and Investments Norman Vincent L. Wee said the UAE is currently moving invest in developing countries.

“The Emiratis have a very positive experience with Filipinos in their country. They have welcomed our countrymen in their businesses and homes, and consider us the country they are closest to in Asia,” he said in a statement.

“In the last few years, the UAE has been investing in other developing countries, and the Philippines has to take advantage of this trend so that more than just a destination for our OFWs; the UAE can become a source of investment funds and financing,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mr. Rodolfo added: “It is now time to establish the Joint Committee on Investment for collaboration on investment areas of mutual interest,” he said. — Justine Irish D. Tabile