INVESTMENTS continue to pour in Mindanao as more inquiries and investment leads have been recorded here, the Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) said.

Ernie Tomas, division chief of Minda’s Investments Promotion Division, said that even with the deadly bombing incident in Davao City last September 2, interest of foreign and local investors to expand and operate here continues.

“We are still receiving a lot of investment briefings, they still have strong interest in Mindanao,” he said, citing the Board of Investments (BOI)-Mindanao.

He added that most scheduled events and conferences pushed through including the Philippine Construction (PhilConstruct) Expo 2016, Davao Agri-Trade Expo and Kakao Konek 2016, among others.

However, they recorded one postponement like the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham)-Southern Mindanao Industrial Tour.

It was moved to March next year from October this year.

Gil Dureza, BOI-Davao director, said earlier investment leads in Mindanao, mostly in Davao Region, reached a total of P886.75 billion.

"The ambiance for investment now is really terrific, there is indeed hot and upbeat investment climate in Davao Region even throughout Mindanao,” Dureza said adding that the figure is several folds higher as compared to same period last year which was pegged at only around P10 to P15 billion worth of investments.

He revealed that these investment leads, which are mostly from foreign investors (90 percent) are focused on manufacturing (P742 billion), infrastructure (P3 billion), power generation (P49 billion), resource-based agri (P33 billion), Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Projects (P39 billion), business processing outsourcing (P160 million) and mass housing projects (P510 million).

Meanwhile, to further lure more investors in southern part of this country, Minda has partnered with the BOI and the Davao City Investment Promotions Center (DCIPC).

Tomas said that the team has identified three key strategies which they will focus on to spur development across Mindanao.

The first strategy is to enhance Mindanao's business environment that is more conducive for employment generation.

To realize this, Tomas said, Minda has identified priority and target sectors: infrastructure development, agriculture and agri-business, tourism development, increase investments in information technology – Business Process Management (IT-BPM) and manufacturing.

He underscored that of the five, Minda has been pushing more on manufacturing saying Mindanao needs more development on pharmaceutical, petrochemical, and steel industry.

The second strategy is optimizing global opportunities especially the country is embarking on a challenge of hosting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) 2017 Summit wherein economic opportunities will be made available.

The third strategy, he said, is facilitation the capacity-building of local government units in Mindanao to pave way for ease of doing business.

To achieve this, Tomas cited President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to his economic team - streamline the process of business requirements particularly for entrepreneurs.

“All these strategies are still in the initial planning stage and will have to undergo several consultations before implementation,” Tomas said.