So many Special Envoys for Trade, Investments to UAE | Inquirer Opinion

So many Special Envoys for Trade, Investments to UAE

/ 05:00 AM June 20, 2024

On June 4, President Marcos appointed Kathryna Yu-Pimentel, the wife of Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, as special envoy to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for trade and investments. In September 2023, Malacañang announced the appointment of W Group president Norman Vincent Wee as special envoy of the president to the UAE for trade and investments. The Department of Trade and Industry also has a commercial attache in Dubai representing the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC), which is involved in promoting increased investments from Middle East and African investors and overseas Filipinos. The PTIC-Dubai also contributes to increasing and sustaining Philippine exports to the Middle East and Africa.

On Jan. 26, 2023, I emailed Rafael Jose Consing Jr., who was just appointed a leading member of the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Investment and Economic Affairs (OPAIEA), to have a Philippine liaison officer with the private sector in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. The liaison officer, who should be based in Dubai, can start by approaching UAE companies to set up presentations.

I mentioned that it is a given that every major company in the Gulf, be it locally owned or a multinational, always has a Filipino staff such as receptionist, personal assistant, secretary, finance, and human resource officers, and of course a technical staff like engineer, quantity surveyor, draftsman, etc. These people serve as the backdoor to get appointments with decision makers and owners. Getting an appointment with Gulf conglomerates is always a challenge not only for Filipinos but other nationalities as well.

If this is addressed by the liaison officer, then any member of the OPAIEA could simply fly in and make a presentation on why the Philippines is a viable country to invest in. I’m writing this as a recommendation to the special envoys.

Art Popoy Los Banos,
[email protected]

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