USD 250 Million Agricultural Deals Between Philippines and Bahrain



Manama, Bahrain, President Rodrigo Duterte personally witnessed the signing of an agreement between private companies from both the Philippines and Bahrain. Signed 4 agreements on the occasion of President Rodrigo Duterte’s state visit to Bahrain on Thursday, April 13 (early Friday, April 14, Philippine time).

The Memorandum of Understanding, signed between AMA Group Holdings Corporation and Nader & Ebrahim Sons of Hassan CompanyW.L.L(NEH) Thursday evening (early Friday morning Manila time), will allow both companies to pour in additional investment of $250-million (P12.3 billion) over three to five years to ensure successful implementation of the expansion project.

This project, which is in line with President Duterte’s thrust to develop Mindanao, is expected to produce 560,000 metric tons of agricultural produce with export value of $280-million (P13.9 billion) annually and generate jobs for about 3,000 farm workers and 500 back-office support staff.

The AMA Group was represented by its founder, Dr. Amable Aguiluz V, who is the current Special Envoy to the Gulf Cooperation Council. The NEH, on the other hand, was represented by its chairman, Ebrahim Hassan Mubarak Al Ameer. The company engages in various industries from hospitality management, property development, consumer electronics to food distribution.

Present at the signing ceremony held in the Four Seasons in Manama, Bahrain were Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and Philippine Ambassador to Bahrain Alfonso Ver.

Another agreements are:

  • A Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of a Joint High Commission on Bilateral Cooperation between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Republic of the Philippines
  • A Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the Diplomatic Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Foreign Service Institute of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs
  • A protocol on amending articles of the agreement between Bahrain and the Philippines on the Avoidance of Double Taxation
  • A draft protocol on the agreement on regulating air transport services between Bahrain and the Philippines

Meanwhile, among those Bahraini businessmen who witnessed the event were Shaikh Duaij bin Isa Al Khalifa, chairman of Bahrain-Asian Traders Committee, and Khalid Almoayed, chairman of Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In an earlier interview, Ambassador Ver said that, aside from bananas, the two companies want to invest in pineapples and pulses such as lentil and monggo in Davao and General Santos City.

Under the agreement, both countries will engage in the exchange of science or technical materials and information in agriculture and fisheries and the exchange of professionals, scientists, technical experts and trainees.

Both will also develop the food and commercial sectors and food industries, technology transfer and innovation, implementation of activities related to trading in agricultural products.

According to Ver, the bananas harvested in the plantation are not just for the Gulf region or Bahrain but for export to the entire world.