November 21, 2018
DOHA-BASED Al Jameel Showroom Furniture is looking to put up operations in the country, according to the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).
“I have convinced them to invest in PEZA’s Economic Zones especially in the Agro-forestry ecozone for wood-based industries and paper-making industries zones,” PEZA Director-General Charito B. Plaza said in a Facebook post over the weekend, referring to the company as Qatar’s top furniture manufacturer and exporter.
In a separate text message, Ms. Plaza said the company’s representatives will visit ecozones in the Philippines in December.
Asked if the country’s log ban will be a deterrent for investors like Al Jameel, Ms. Plaza said PEZA remains in talks with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources “to restore back the wood industry thru the creation of agro-forestry economic zone to make productive the 15 million hectares of timberlands which are now idle.”
PEZA has been pushing to convert managed forests into special economic zones, a move seen to potentially revive wood and related industries.
Reviving the industry is seen to create jobs, generate export income of wood finished products and reduce the country’s reliance on imports for its wood requirement.
The ban was implemented as President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III signed in 2011 Executive Order No. 23 which imposed a moratorium on cutting and harvesting lumber nationwide.
Al Jameel Showroom was sought to verify the veracity of PEZA’s statement but has not replied as of press time.