THE Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation Inc. (Oro Chamber) kicked off this year’s 19th Mindanao Business Conference (MinBizCon) with a launching on Thursday at the Grand Caprice Restaurant, this city.

MinBizcon aims to present Mindanao’s investment opportunities as well as business linkages with investors and buyers, sharing best practices in economic development and fostering a more competitive business environment.

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Ralph Paguio, Oro Chamber president, said it has been seven years since the last MinBizCon was held in Cagayan de Oro City.

“We will be the host organizer along with the undying support of the City Government, USAid’s Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program, the Mindanao Development Authority and other partners,” Paguio said as he promised the MinBizCon to be an exciting event for the business community, focusing on such areas as energy, shipping, agribusiness, mariculture and other key industries.

Cagayan de Oro is considered as one of the country’s most progressive and dynamic cities as it serves as a base for various multinational companies, many of which are engaged in agro-industry and business process outsourcing (BPO).

The Oro Chamber in partnership with the U.S Commercial Service will hold its annual Oro Best trade show back-to-back with the MinBizCon, which will run from September 17 to 18 at the Atrium of Limketkai Center focusing on the theme “One Global Mindanao Maximizing Potentials.”

Paguio said there will be plenary sessions championing Mindanao’s winners and highlighting key products or the “product champion” of each Mindanao sub-region, which is a new element in the conference format.

“A Mindanao investment forum, to be held in Makati, is also being considered as an auxiliary MinBizCon event,” he added.

Paguio said the conference would also serve as a venue for the country’s next president to present the new administration’s Mindanao investment initiatives.

Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr., chairperson of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), said he was so happy to bring the MinBizCon back to Cagayan de Oro.

He said he saw a lot of developments in the city and it just fit to hold the conference here to showcase its business potentials.

The PCCI-Mindanao has pledged P100,000 for the conference as its contribution.

Paguio added they would meet with different line agencies to follow-up the policy recommendations made by the private sector to the government during last year’s MinBizCon in Koronadal.

The Mindanao Business Conference is one of the five area conferences organized by PCCI. Others are held in North Luzon, South Luzon, National Capital Region and the Visayas.

The area conferences would then wrap up with the Philippine Business Conference, the largest business sector gathering at the national level.