Palace sees 26,000 new jobs from Duterte's Mideast trip

Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 17 2017 08:29 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte meets Bahrain officials during a lunch hosted by His Royal Highness Shiekh Ali Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa at the Ritz Carlton Hotel on Wednesday. Bahrain, host to some 60,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), is the second stop of Duterte's Middle East tour. Ace Morandante, Malacañang Photo

President Duterte's visit to the Middle East netted nearly a billion dollars worth of investments which are expected to generate thousands of jobs in the country, according to Malacañang. 

"During the President's week-long country visit, he witnessed the signing of over US$925 million worth of investment deals among Saudi, Bahraini and Qatari businessmen, which are expected to create approximately 26,000 jobs," Presidential Spokesman Sec. Ernesto Abella said.

In Saudi Arabia, Duterte negotiated a total of $469 million worth of investments which are expected some 16,000 new jobs. Several projects were signed in Saudi Arabia in businesses such as pharmaceuticals, property development, medical tourism, port warehouse management, agriculture, and tourism.

The palace also said that Duterte bagged $250 million worth of investments in Bahrain.

In Qatar, the president witnessed the signing of $206 million worth of business deals between Qatari businessmen and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority. The deals are expected to create almost 5,770 jobs in the Philippines according to Malacañang.

The projects are in information technology, economic zone management services, medical tourism, poultry/halal food processing, digital marketing, manufacture of coco peat/coco fiber in South Cotabato, manufacture and export of nano-structured carbon, the creation of an agro-industrial economic zone in Palawan, and the development of a retirement village and tourism eco-zone in Romblon, Davao or Cebu.

Trade and Industry Sec. Ramon Lopez said this was all part of "Dutertenomics.”

"And these are all parts of the ‘Dutertenomics’ na ating gusto ngayong pangalanan which really refers also to, if you remember the 10-point socioeconomic agenda. So nandyan na 'yung rural and value chain, competitiveness, creative industries, tax reform at marami pa pong iba, even on responsible parenthood," Lopez said.

Lopez added that another $1 billion dollars worth of funds may be given by the Qatari Sovereign Fund. He said it would be a financial facility that will be available for investment activities in the Philippines.