Lulu Group Chairman Yousuf Ali M.A. with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila. Image Credit: Supplied

Manila: Abu Dhabi-based retailer Lulu Group has opened its first business endeavour in the country through its local subsidiary, May Exports Philippines.

May Exports on Wednesday inaugurated its first warehouse in the Calamba Premiere International Park located several kilometres south of Manila.

The warehouse will process and handle products such as dry foods, bananas, seafood, fruits and vegetables, dry fish, textiles, electronics, household items, furniture, and other value-added food and non-food products, as well as other general merchandise before they are exported to the Middle East.

In a courtesy call to President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday, Lulu Group International chairman and managing director Yusuff Ali M.A. informed the president about his company’s business venture in the country.

Lulu Group is also working with the Department of Agriculture for its venture in the production and export of agricultural products.

According to Rajmal Palikandy Refeeque, Lulu Group’s general manager for Philippines operations, the company will initially be investing $1 million (Dh3.67 million) initially for the year.

Refeeque said that the Lulu Group is looking at purchasing products from farmer cooperatives as well as contract farming. The company is considering sourcing fruits and vegetables from the Davao region.

With an annual turnover in excess of $6.9 billion and staff strength of over 40,000, Lulu Group is considered a major player in the economic scenario of the Middle East.

Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) director-general Charito Plaza revealed that the Lulu Group aims to invest $20 million in the country by 2019.