THE 4th Davao Investment Conference (Icon) held last July 21 to 22 at the SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang Premier was deemed to be the biggest Icon organized by the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) with at least 500 recorded local and foreign delegates.
“Overall, the Davao Investment Conference was a great success by the sheer number of delegates who came in. We have a total, the highest was 582 (individuals) who actually came in. That was the height of when the president was speaking. On the average, we have 540 but this excludes the media,” said 2017 Davao Icon Chairman Arturo Milan.
One of the highlights of the 2-day conference was Air Asia Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Anthony Fernandes’ announcement of the Davao-Kuala Lumpur connectivity which kicked off on the first day of the conference itself with a base fare of only P99.
“The biggest success is convincing Air Asia to expand their operations in the Philippines and in Davao. On December 21, they will start the Davao-Kuala Lumpur flight,” said Milan.
He added that also one of the highlights was the business to business matching (B2B) that was simultaneously happening while sessions on agriculture, tourism, infrastructure, and manufacturing was on going. According to Milan, at least 12 groups were recorded to have met doing some business explorations. This number already includes both local and foreign delegates. The B2B was facilitated by the Board of Investments Davao Region.
For his part, DCCCII president Capt. Ronald Go said the great influx of attendees on the event shows that there is much confidence put by the people on Davao City. During his closing remarks, he mentioned that there had been challenges prior to the event but they chose to push through wanting to leave a good impression to the participants that Davao City is indeed a safe destination.
As expected, various business executives came and discussed specific topics concerning different sectors.
Damosa Land, Inc. vice president Cary Lagdameo discussed their company’s Anflo Industrial Estate (AIE) as a response to lack of industrial estates in Mindanao. Lagdameo added that they also have the Davao International Container Terminal (DICT) located just a few meters away from AIE. These properties are located at Davao del Norte. He further on stated the importance of having Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza)-accredited economic zones in the region.
Founder of the award-winning Malagos Chocolate Charita Puentespina shared to the delegates her journey towards starting her own chocolate business and how her leasing a few-hectare land area in Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City had now been after more than a decade.
Davao-based 8990 Housing Development Corp. President and CEO Januario Jesus Atencio also talked to the delegates about the opportunities and demand for housing for Davao residents particularly the basic principles of mass housing as an industry.