Soon after joining President Duterte in his historic state visit to Beijing, the head of this large conglomerate did not fly back home to the Philippines like many of his other colleagues in the 400-strong business delegation.
And no, he didn’t stay around to do some shopping either.
Instead, this businessman took his private jet and pointed it and flew in the opposite direction to a secret meeting to seal what could be one of the biggest foreign investments that will enter local shores next year.
How far did he fly? All the way west to the desert nation of Kuwait for Sunday lunch with a sheikh and his top petroleum industry officials, we hear.
Of course, Kuwait is a small country in physical terms, but it punches above its weight on the economic front, being the ninth largest oil producer in the world (as well as being the temporary home of thousands of Filipino overseas workers in its petroleum industry).
And Biz Buzz heard that the results of this businessman’s trip is set to yield positive results.
Under broadly agreed terms, Kuwait will make the Philippines an intermediate staging point for its oil exports—a petroleum supply hub, if you will—before the coveted black gold is sent on to other buyers in this part of the world. Think of it as a depot for Kuwaiti oil on Philippine soil.
And who will build and operate the physical facilities to receive, store and distribute this massive amount of crude from the Middle Eastern oil powerhouse? The conglomerate which this businessman runs, of course.
The Kuwaitis win because it saves money with a regional distribution hub and the Philippines wins thanks to the billions in inward investments. Of course, it goes without saying that the local conglomerate also wins big time. Now that’s a 14,000-kilometer round trip flight (9 hours going, and 9 hours returning) for a lunch meeting worth making.