Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, the Minister of State for Foreign Trade, hosted on Monday a high-level delegation from the Philippines at the Ministry of Economy's headquarters in Dubai.
The two sides explored ways to boost bilateral relations and strategies to jointly work together on projects across various economic sectors.
Among the key members of the Philippine delegation were Dr. Benjamin Diokno, Secretary of Finance; Amenah Pangandaman, Secretary of Budget and Management; Dr. Arsenio Balisacan, Secretary of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda); Francisco G. Dakila, Jr., Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of the Philippines; Rosalia V. de Leon, National Treasurer; and Alfonso Ferdinand A. Ver, Ambassador of the Philippines to the UAE, accompanied by several other officials.
During this meeting, both parties engaged in discussions aimed at bolstering trade and investment ties, according to the official news agency WAM.
They emphasised the recent developments regarding the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the two nations, which had commenced in February 2022.
The primary goal of CEPA is to enhance investment flows, streamline intra-trade, and create fresh opportunities for businesses in both countries.
Furthermore, the discussions encompassed advancements in strengthening bilateral relations and strategies for collaborative economic projects spanning various sectors of shared interest. These areas included clean energy, artificial intelligence, transportation and logistics, as well as financial and banking services.
Both sides underscored the significance of cooperative efforts within the private sector, leveraging the chambers of commerce and industry in both countries, along with joint and local business councils.
Notably, non-oil intra-trade between the UAE and the Philippines witnessed robust growth in the first half of 2023, reaching a total of $506.1 million.
This marked a substantial increase of 19.4 per cent compared to the corresponding period in 2022. In 2022, non-oil intra-trade surpassed $1.850 billion, surging from $830.3 million in 2021 and $715.6 million in 2020.