THE Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) said the absence of a Davao-Tokyo direct flight in Davao City hampers some of the Japanese investors to consider the city as a business location.
JCCI vice president Takeyoshi Sumikawa said Monday, June 10, during the SM City Kapehan media forum that the direct flight is a necessity for businesses to ensure that the goods from Japan remain fresh despite hours of transport process.
“There are many Japanese companies that are interested in Davao but we need more effort. We definitely need a direct flight to Tokyo, that is one thing,” Sumikawa said.
“For example, cargo of fresh fish, flowers or vegetables from Japan, because there is no direct flight to Davao, it needs to be stopped over first to the Manila airport. The waiting hours sometimes take three hours under sunshine. The products will rot so there must be a direct flight, it important to have it,” Sumikawa said.
Sumikawa said they are already talks with the DCCCII president Arturo Milan regarding the concern.
“I talked with [him and said that] he is also very active in working on the air connectivity of Davao and Tokyo. He is working hard. The Japan government is always welcoming the direct flight,” he said.
While there are a lot of Japanese investors who have shown interest in the city already, Sumikawa said the concern on air connectivity and safety and security are still causing doubts.
Meanwhile, he said that other deterrents include the declaration of martial law in Mindanao which is posing a negative impact on safety and security to foreign investors. Sumikawa, however, said they keep on promoting the city as a safe place for businesses and erase misconceptions.
“Martial law is stopping big companies in Japan to enter the city. Small businesses are, however, braver and are really willing to take the risks. [On our side], we always explain that Davao City is safe, even safer than Tokyo,” he said.