MISAMIS Oriental Governor Oscar S. Moreno expressed optimism 2010 will be a much better year than last year for Misamis Oriental, Northern Mindanao and the entire Philippine economy.

Moreno, during his weekly television program Ang Lalawigan Karon, said the global economic crisis is already “a thing of the past” since there is “recovery signs” in many countries.

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“Asia is expected to take the lead,” said the former financial analyst and banker turned local chief executive, adding that China and India are expected to take lead in the recovery from recession that has been experienced in other economies, including the United States of America.

“That is good for us (in the Philippines),” he quipped.

The Philippine economy performed relatively well in 2008 and 2009, hence it is expected to do even better in 2010, according to the governor.

Moreno said he is confident Northern Mindanao will maintain and sustain its leadership status in terms of gross regional domestic product among Mindanao regions and the rest of the country for this year.

“In Misamis Oriental alone, we see a lot of business opportunities,” he pointed out, hinting of business expansion plans of multi-million industries in the locality such as Holcim, Kawasaki, Nestle and Steag State Power.

He said that even Hanjin Heavy Industries, which is currently undertaking the Laguindingan Airport Development Project (LADP), could just be waiting for the outcome of the national elections in May this year so that it could push through with its planned establishment of a shipbuilding facility in the municipalities of Villanueva and Tagoloan in Misamis Oriental.

Earlier, the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) in its regional economic situationer for Northern Mindanao for the third quarter of last year indicated that investments during the period amounted to P1.85 billion.

Though the figure was 65 percent lower compared to the P4.97 billion of investments in the same period last year, yet the report stated that Misamis Oriental’s data showed renewed confidence with P560.77-million investments, an encouraging improvement over the P197.49-million investments in the second quarter of last year.

The Neda report stated that 55 percent of the provincial total investments during the third quarter was contributed by locators in the Phividec Industrial Estate in Misamis Oriental (PIEMO) while the rest came from expansion investments in commercial buildings, construction and hardware facilities, housing and hotel facilities in Cagayan de Oro and in the entire province. (MOPPO)