Enter PH, a local consultancy firm that helps foreign companies expand to the Philippines, has partnered with Dubai-based business setup firm Creative Zone to help Filipino businesses enter Dubai and other Gulf Cooperation Council markets (Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates or UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman).  

The partnership provides coaching and business support services to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and investor-seeking startups from the Philippines.   

“The Filipino community is the third-largest expatriate community in the UAE and is an important demographic,” said Lorenzo Jooris, Creative Zone chief executive officer, to BusinessWorld.   

“Filipinos in the UAE have a thriving business community, with a diverse range of businesses, including food and beverage, fashion, and various types of professional services,” he said. “Aligning with this is Dubai’s vibrant consumer base that constitutes tech-savvy, high-income, and young professionals.”  

Mr. Jooris cited the Philippines’ young and English-speaking workforce, its strategic location in the Southeast Asian market, and its strong industrial sector as among the factors for the company’s decision to extend its services to the country.  

“The Philippines has introduced various incentives to create an investor-friendly climate and attract foreign business ventures,” he added. “The creation of Special Economic Zones (SEZs), tax benefits, and entrepreneur-friendly commercial laws make it relatively easy for foreign companies to set up in the Philippines”  

In a press statement, Rene “RJ” A. Ledesma, Jr., founding partner of Enter PH, said that his firm’s partnership with Creative Zone encourages the spirit of entrepreneurship.  

“Dubai has always been close to my heart, and educating my fellow entrepreneurs on the overlying opportunities and business potential that can be leveraged whilst within the country is a novel approach,” Mr. Ledesma said.   

The economy of the UAE, of which Dubai is a part, is rebounding faster than expected, according to a chief economist for Oxford Economics Middle East in Dubai. The economy has been open for months, and is buoyed by a well-equipped health system as well as a population that is about 90% fully vaccinated. Bloomberg reported in September that Dubai’s job market was at its strongest in two years 

The UAE’s latest foreign direct investment laws, which took effect on June 1, allow foreign investors and entrepreneurs full ownership of onshore companies. — Patricia B. Mirasol