The ratification process of the Philippines-Qatar Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) is expected to be finalised this year following talks held in Doha between the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI).

DTI Secretary Alfredo E Pascual and HE the Minister of Commerce and Industry Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad bin Qassim al-Thani agreed to finalise the IPPA ratification process during a recently held meeting held on the sidelines of the Qatar Economic Forum 2024.

The Philippines completed its domestic ratification procedures in April, the DTI noted in a statement.

“The entry into force of the IPPA is expected to significantly deepen the economic ties between the Philippines and Qatar. We are confident that finalising the ratification process will translate into productive investment figures contributing to our mutually shared prosperity,” Pascual emphasised.

Similarly, the DTI and MoCI also agreed to pursue a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen co-operation on intellectual property rights (IPR) protection. The DTI noted that the MoU will facilitate the exchange of information and best practices, training programmes, and high-level dialogues on IP policy.

The DTI further stated that the Philippine delegation expressed concern about the proliferation of counterfeit Filipino brands in the Middle East, including Qatar. Enhancing cooperation on IPR protection, including the proposed MoU would address these concerns and create a fairer and more secure environment, the DTI stressed.

“During the discussion, both countries also affirmed their commitment to proactively collaborate on creating a business-friendly environment that will facilitate greater trade, investment, and economic co-operation.

“The ministers noted the countries’ shared vision of diversifying and expanding their economies through investments in infrastructure, integrated circuit design and manufacturing, and financial services,” the DTI stated.

According to the DTI, the meeting also discussed holding the inaugural Philippines-Qatar Joint Economic, Commercial, and Technical Committee (JECTC) meeting in the first quarter of 2025.

“This proposal was relayed to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani during his visit to Manila in April 2024. Furthermore, both countries agreed on organising a business forum and a business-to-business matching session on the sidelines of the JECTC,” the DTI added.

Highlighting the growing economic ties between the Philippines and Qatar, Pascual said: “We are pleased with the progress made in this meeting, and we are positive that the finalisation of the IPPA ratification process will soon pave the way for its full implementation.

“The Philippines is eager to further strengthen its economic partnership with Qatar through enhanced investment flows, increased co-operation on intellectual property rights, and the establishment of the Joint Economic, Commercial, and Technical Committee. We believe that this collaboration will not only benefit our two countries but also contribute to greater prosperity and stability in both the Gulf and Southeast Asia regions.”

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