10 American firms withdraw from Mindanao business gab

SOME 10 American companies have withdrawn their registration in the Mindanao Business Conference (MinBizCon) which will be held this September in Cagayan de Oro City.

Ruben Vegafria, chairman of MinBizCon 2017, said the companies withdrew because of the travel advisories issued by the United States government against travel in Mindanao, which will be under martial rule until yearend.

Vegafria insisted that it is still "business as usual in the city" and pointed out that other than the US firms, other foreign guests are still coming, and that the roster of delegates are still largely intact.

"Nothing has changed, in Cagayan de Oro, business is better than usual. The participants are still intact, but others have withdrawn, and of course we cannot stop them from withdrawing," he said.

"The exhibitors have reserved a pavilion, where they can display their products there, kadto sila ang nag-withdraw kay siyempre ang ilang mother company sa US, dili siguro ganahan muanhi," he added.

"However, as a whole, we still have foreign visitors, the Russian ambassador is not giving up, so we are now really hoping that nothing will be changed in our program," he said.

The companies that withdrew, he said, are some of the supposed exhibitors of the MinBizcon's trade fair.

The trade fair will feature products, technology, and various investment opportunities.

But despite the setback, Vegafria said the martial law extension has not affected the MinBizcon.

"We are not afraid sa extension, siguro ang uban na sector naapektahan, but sa amo, in so far as the participants ug ang movement sa tao, wala may affected, in fact we are thankful sa tight security we feel secured. We haven't received any information na ni-atras because of martial law, it's okay for us," Vegafria said.

The Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation Inc. (Oro Chamber) will host what is tagged as the biggest gathering of business executives and policy makers in Mindanao, the MinBizcon on September 7 to 9, 2017, at the Xavier Estates Sports and Country Club, Upper Balulang, this city.

About 1,000 business executives, investors, industry players, policy makers, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are expected to attend this year's business conference with the theme "Emerging Opportunities-One Mindanao".

Oro Chamber President Robert Pizzaro earlier said foreign guests from the United States and Russia have expressed interest in attending the event, and that President Rodrigo Duterte will be the event’s keynote speaker.
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