Photo courtesy of Presidential Communications
President Rodrigo Duterte is arriving from his official visit to Jordan with $60.675 million in Jordanian investments.This does not account the other $84.9 million worth of investments pledged during his trip to Israel earlier this week.
Harry Roque, Presidential Spokesperson said President Duterte decided to go home early to be with his family and spare the government another day of expenses.“The President shortened the Jordan trip without having to cancel any official engagement”, Roque added.
In his speech at the Philippine-Jordanian business forum on Thursday, the President promised to create a department that would make it easy for foreign investors to do business in the country and assured businessmen here that the Philippines is a good place to invest in but admitted he could not say that the country is “trouble-free.”
The President appealed and gave his commitment to the Jordanian businessmen by saying, “We need investments. We need the money to finance the huge population in terms of education, medical care, everything.”He added, “I assure you that will do business with ease in the Philippines.”
He also stressed, “As a matter of fact, you do not have to travel from one place to another to get a permit or clearance wherever. I will guarantee you the return of profit. There will be no corruption. And if you ask anything from me, even a toothpick, I guarantee you, you can have my audience anytime of the day or night.”
The President also witnessed the signing of nine business agreements, including seven letters of intent and two memorandums of understanding.
These agreements include the relocation of Nafith International’s regional office to the Philippines; the setup of a manufacturing facility for Dead Sea products for export to Asian markets; the exploration of opportunities for cross-border remittances from Jordan to the Philippines and for genomic testing services for hospitals and clinics.
Meanwhile, King Abdullah II declared that Jordan and the Philippines were starting a “new era” of cooperation, including a partnership in the fight against terrorism.
“I am confident that your presence here will really give us momentum into the future in so many fields, and I believe this is a new era of cooperation,” King Abdullah told the Presdient in a meeting at the Al Husseiniya Palace.
Abdullah said he looked forward to “an opportunity … to visit your country, not only with our government officials, but also (with) the Jordanian private sector to look at the tremendous opportunities that your country has to offer.”
The Jordanian government donated two secondhand Cobra attack helicopters to the Philippines, which will be turned over to Manila after Filipino pilots have undergone a nine-month training on their operation. On the part of Philippine government, the President offered to send troops to Jordan to help combat Islamist militants.
Duterte said to the King, “If there is anything that we can do, if you are short in your army, let me know. You need one battalion … I will send them to you. I will commit my government in the right side of history.”
Abdullah is considered an important Middle East ally of Western powers, with Jordan playing a prominent role in the US-led coalition against IS, providing military, logistical and intelligence support.
The President is scheduled to arrive on Saturday 9:30AM in Davao City to be with his family.