DAVAO Region recorded a hike of 63 percent in investments amounting to P7 billion in 2016 compared to the P4 billion registered in 2015, according to Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) regional director Maria Belena Ambi.

Ambibared during Wednesday's Habi at Kape at Abreeza Ayala Malls that there is an additional 15,000 new micro small enterprises (MSEs) in the region for a total of 60,000 registered MSEs.

“These are just the single proprietorships. We haven’t captured yet the corporations, cooperatives, and partnerships. These are only those who were listed in the DTI through their business registration names,” Ambi said.

She said part of the investment growth in the region was due to the summit hosting done by different major industries, particularly the agricultural sector. DTI also looks forward to more foreign investors coming in the region as a result of the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (Asean) meetings to be conducted in Davao City all year round.

“We have very strong investment promotion centers, like the Davao City Investment and Promotions Center (DCIPC) which had been operating for the past several years and had been very effective in promoting the city as an area for investments,” she said, adding that existing investments promotion centers in Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur also help a lot in promoting the provinces to investors.

Currently, Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley start working on their own investment promotion centers as well.

Ambi said the top three investments in the region as of last year are manufacturing, real-estate, and logistics.

“We experienced slow down in export because of the slow down also of our trading experts like US and China. But I hope we will be on the uptrend in 2017 considering that we are looking forward to opening the Roro connection between Davao, Gensan, and Bitong (Indonesia),” she added.

Ambi also said the DTI is coming up with the final list of probable commodities for import and export with Indonesia.

Agricultural products like coconut, corn, and wood might make it to the import list as the country is experiencing limited production supply of coconuts as discussed during DTI’s consultation with select private sectors.

The country also lied low in logging due to environmental issues, thus, semi-processed wood from Indonesia is being considered.

Meanwhile, a consultation is set on February 24 to be spearheaded by the Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) to discuss the specific products to be pushed for trading and who will be the trade players. This will be attended by different businessmen and traders from Mindanao.

RDL Pharmaceutical Lab, Incorporated had long since started exported beauty products from Manila to Jakarta several years ago. Beauty products are transported via air cargo but Ambi said they are still considering local products to be exported to Indonesia such as Angel Sue of Digos City.