Qatar, PH sign 4 agreements during Duterte visit

Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 17 2017 03:57 PM

DOHA - Four agreements were signed Sunday between the Philippines and Qatar, as witnessed by Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Agreements signed involved matters on culture, investment, technical education cooperation, and health.

Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo said the agreement signed on the field of culture was aimed at reinforcing cultural programs and encouraging bilateral cultural exchanges.

The agreement for cooperation in the field of technical, vocational, education, and training would meanwhile facilitate exchanges of professionals in technical areas, and technology institute management.

"It would also aim at providing assistance through trainees and trainers in the form of scholarships and exchanges and also dissemination of research and study materials," Manalo said.

Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said the Memorandum of Understanding on Health between Qatar and the Philippines was 10 years in the making.

"It's a cooperation on all important fields of health and it also looks into the support of joint activities with international health organizations, like the World Health Organization, and the Gulf Cooperation Council," she said.

"It particularly focuses on areas of research in the health care field, exchange of expertise in health field, and exchange of scientists, experts, and other health professionals, facilitating internship, and advance courses for both Filipino citizens and Qatari nationals to promote the principles of reciprocity and mutual benefit," Ubial added.

It also took 9 years before Philippines and Qatar finalized the investment protection and promotion agreement, said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

"There has been a lot of work put into many legal and economic aspect of negotiations. That's the reason it really extended up to this time. It is just our desire to finally put a completion into this negotiation and finally have a more meaningful investment protection and promotion agreement with Qatar," Lopez said.

"It provides the basic rights and guarantees to investors. It gives also a ‘most-favored nation’ type of treatment, equal treatment for both sides of investments being made. Of course, the identification of opportunities, cooperation in that field, assistance, ease of doing business are all included.”