Private sector urged to invest in Bangsamoro

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Thursday, March 6, 2014


THE private sector has been encouraged to invest in the proposed Bangsamoro because of its strategic location, improved peace and order condition, and its predominantly Muslim population and culture.

"We are encouraging the private sector to invest in Bangsamoro because there is a greater promise for peace and development and they will be part of the impetus towards a greater development," said Undersecretary Luisito Montalbo, executive director of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (Opapp), during the Bangsamoro Development Plan at the Waterfront Insular Hotel on Wednesday.

He said companies who will invest in the region will get the first mover advantage.

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"The economy of Bangsamoro is growing and if they come here before other companies, they are showing to the people of the region that they have a commitment to the area... Also in the long run the returns will be substantial," Montalbo said.

Dr. Saffrullah M. Dipatuan, chair of the Bangsamoro Development Authority board of directors, said Bangsomoro, being a predominantly Muslim area, makes it a unique investment hub because it has concerns that other areas in the Philippines do not have.

Dipatuan said the region's concern for Halal and Islamic banking and finance makes it a unique hub for investors.

He said the halal business is a growing global business and it is something that they understand. He said their local businesses and investors can take advantage of this growing market.

Dipatuan said the area needs a bank that offers Islamic banking and finance.

"For us Muslims, the reason why the community or group cannot readily access banking and financial support is our religion does not allow us to access financial support based on interest," he said.

Dipatuan said Malaysian banks and financial institutions are already showing interests in putting up banks that has Islamic banking and financing in Bangsamoro.

He also said Bangsamoro's Muslim population and culture give it an edge in identifying with other Muslim countries.

"It will be easier for Bangsamoro to link investments and economic activities in Muslim countries like Malaysia and Indonesia compared to Luzon because they can identify with them since they have the same culture and background," Montalbo said.

He also said Bangsamoro's culture and strategic location can be a springboard and a bridge in doing business and having economic activities in the Malaysia and Indonesia. He said this will also allow better connection between the two countries with the Asean Integration 2015 and in the BIMP-Eaga.

Bangsamoro's vast land areas also make it a ideal location for investments in agriculture.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 07, 2014.

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