February 29, 2024

Moon Desk: The Philippines is going to tap into the presence of Filipino workers in the Middle East to attract investment from Gulf countries, the office of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said on Wednesday after his session at the World Economic Forum.
In 2021, about half of Filipinos working abroad were in Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which are the top two destinations for overseas Filipino workers. Marcos, who was attending the WEF in Davos, Switzerland, was positive that Filipino workers in the Middle East would play a role in drawing more investors as the Southeast Asian country sought to boost foreign investment as part of its post-pandemic economic recovery strategy.
“President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. expressed optimism Tuesday that the Philippines could leverage on the strong presence of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Middle East to corner investments from Arab countries looking eastward for new investment destinations,” the presidential office said in a statement.
“The Philippines, Marcos said, has a very good foundation with regard to the relationship with Gulf countries because of the huge concentration of OFWs in the Middle East.”
Kuwait and Qatar — aside from Saudi Arabia and the UAE — are also popular destinations among OFWs, according to latest official data.
In Davos, Marcos was on a mission to promote the Philippines “as leader and driver of growth, and a gateway to the Asia-Pacific region.”
The Philippine president was the only leader from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, attending the WEF this year. He was accompanied by a delegation of Philippine business leaders and officials, including Trade and Industry Secretary Fred Pascual.
“We have met with several business executives and presented our country as an ideal investment destination in Asia,” Pascual said in a statement issued by his office.
“Similarly, we shared with them our improved business climate, which was fueled by the recent economic policy reforms that facilitate ease of doing business.”
“We see (the) WEF as an opportunity to gather more FDIs that will complement our country’s economic recovery initiatives.”

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