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December 18, 2008

Philippines, Qatar in billion-dollar investment fund tie-up

The governments of the Philippines and Qatar are to set up an investment fund worth more than a billion dollars, AFP quoted Philippine cabinet officials as saying in Manila Wednesday.

The fund was announced during a meeting between President Gloria Arroyo and Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al Thani last weekend.

Qatar will put $860 million into the fund while the Philippine government will contribute $150 million, Trade Secretary Peter Favila said Wednesday.

Favila said the government outlined a series of infrastructure and investment prospects to the Qatar Investment Authority during Arroyo's visit last weekend.

He said Qatar is to send a team to carry out its due diligence within the first quarter of 2009.

"The Qatari leader expressed his hope that the agreement for the investment fund could be completed in the first quarter of 2009," Favila said.

He said the Qataris were interested in "food, agriculture and fisheries, telecommunications and power, banking and real estate."

Among the proposals is the leasing of agricultural land in the Philippines to grow food crops for Qatar and marine culture projects.

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