SIX potential trade opportunities will be explored between Mindanao and cities in North and South Sulawesi regions in Indonesia.
The exploratory projects came after the trade and business mission conducted by the Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) in Manado and Gorontalo in North Sulawesi and Makassar in South Sulawesi, Indonesia on October 28 to November 1.
Among the business projects to be explored include sourcing out cacao and yellow corn as feed ingredient from Indonesia during off peak season of corn production in the Philippines.
The country will also be supplying needed chicken for breeding and establish an integrated coconut processing plant in North Sulawesi, with the Philippines as an investor.
The countries are also exploring fish trade between Manado and General Santos City and education and cultural exchange programs.
In a press statement, Minda said other potential products identified for trading includes coffee beans, copra, durian, pomelo, and pineapple, among others.
However, Minda added that one of the challenges for the trade in Sulawesi are the policies on the entry fresh produces from the Philippines.
"A bilateral agreement has yet to be worked out the soonest time possible to revolve policy restrictions on the entry of these products to North Sulawesi for Mindanao to take advantage of its growing demand from local consumers in Manado," the statement read.
Minda also vowed to initiate various missions in Manado to sustain Davao-Manado air route operated by Garuda Airlines such as Mindanao Tour Operators' Familiarization Tour in November 2019, Music Festival, and Mindanao Trade Exhibit and Expo in 2020.
About 100 local businessmen and government officials from North Sulawesi and 43 delegates from Mindanao have attended the forum.