Binay urged to ease PH policy on Iranian investors, will discuss with AquinoBy Fat Reyes
MANILA, Philippines—Vice President Jejomar Binay on Tuesday said he would be discussing the possibility of easing the Philippine government’s current policy on Iranian nationals with President Benigno Aquino III, saying that this had been a problem for Iranian nationals who wanted to invest in the country.
In a statement, Binay said that while he was in Tehran, he met Filipino women married to Iranian nationals who expressed their interest in investing in the Philippines but that the Philippine government’s policy was causing them “administrative problems.”
Binay was in Iran last week to represent Aquino at the 16th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit.
“I promised to take this up with the President who, I am sure, would like to address this issue expeditiously for the benefit of all our countrymen married to Iranians,” Binay said.
Binay noted that the Philippines currently has a policy of classifying Iranians as “restricted nationals.”
Binay said that the restrictions had also barred the Filipino women from bringing their own personal investments to the Philippines. He said that according to the Philippine Embassy in Tehran, there were more than 900 Filipino permanent residents married to Iranians living in the Middle Eastern nation.
Binay had earlier noted that the Iranian government expressed interest to invest more in the Philippines as part of its plan to shift interest from Europe to Asia.
“Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Iran has reduced its investments in Europe, and has put in at least 50 billion Euros in China,” he said.
He said talks with the foreign minister included the possibility of Iran increasing its imports of Philippine Bananas and that more could be expected in terms of the two countries’ investments and trade.
“We agreed to encourage our respective chambers of commerce to discuss the various ways and means of engaging in expanded investments and trade. Officers and members of the Iranian Chamber of Commerce may be coming to the Philippines soon,” Binay said.