P94B investments poured in Minda

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Sunday, August 3, 2014


THE Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) reported that total registered investments in Mindanao reached P94.956 billion last year.

"We are now seeing [an increase in] investor confidence in Mindanao for the past two or three years and this is by far the largest amount per BOI-record for the last 10 years," said Minda executive director Usec. Janet M. Lopoz, citing records from the Bureau of Investments (BOI).

Lopoz was also the key note speaker during the first Mindanao Business Solutions Expo (MBSE), organized by Globe Telecom, at the Marco Polo Hotel Davao Thursday.

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She said the investor confidence is fueled by Mindanao's strong macroeconomic fundamentals and its relatively robust economy and stable political condition.

Data showed that the Northern Mindanao region posted the highest number of investments at P48.12 billion in 2013 from P3.65 billion in 2012. This is followed by Davao Region with P31.66 billion from P5.79 billion, Caraga region with P8.64 billion from P11.78 billion, and Soccsksargen with P6.53 billion from P1.22 billion. No data was released for Zamboanga Peninsula.

"And even in the ARMM, we have already recorded P1.46 Billion registered investments...157 percent higher than than the P569 million registered investments in 2012," Lopoz said.

Electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply recorded the highest number of investments with P86.73 billion. This is followed by manufacturing with P2.49 billion, real estate with P2.24 billion, mining and quarrying with P1.77 billion, transportation and storage with P1.57 billion, accommodation and food service with P95.01 million, and agriculture, forestry and fishing with P59.18 million.

Lopoz also said that transportation and logistics companies are also looking into investing in Mindanao, seeing it as the next alternate transport and logistics hub of Asia.

"We have met with the several operators of Hong Kong, Singapore, and China who are looking at Mindanao. They are saying that Singapore and Hong Kong are now becoming very congested and has reached its saturation point, so now they are looking the tail end of Malaysia and Mindanao," she said.

"We are already seeing a lot of promise...,however we need to be reminded that nothing is infinite in this world and we need to take care of this growth so that it becomes sustainable and it is inclusive," Lopoz pointed out.

One way to do this is by taking care of the water sources in the island as investments come in.

"We are already seeing a lot of major industries that are coming in which will require the use of a lot of water. We need to ensure that we are ready by taking care of our ecosystem and watershed," Lopoz said, adding that they are doing this with their MindaNow (Nurturing Our Waters) program.

Another way of sustaining the gains is through reducing the cost of transportation and logistics. Lopoz said transportation and logistics account for nearly half of the cost of a certain company. She said in terms of planning for the development of this sector, they are looking at Mindanao in three corridors -- Western, Northern, and Southern.

She said, in this development, they will be establishing major roads that will connect the farms, production areas, ports, and exits.

"With this, we see an increase economic activity that will generate jobs and make a drastic change in the cost structure of transportation and logistics," Lopoz said.

Other things that will be done in taking care of the island's robust economic growth is through strengthening external economic linkages with the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-Eaga) and improving the island's power supply through the fast tracking of the application of renewable energy projects through the One Stop RE Power Facilitation Center.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 04, 2014.

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