NATIONAL Economic Development Authority (Neda) in Davao Region cited at least five key industries that when Davao Region get more investment opportunities on these areas will spur economic growth.

Neda regional director Maria Lourdes D. Lim said the primary economic drivers of the region will always be agriculture, energy, information and communication technology (ICT), tourism, and wholesale and retail trade.

"Our continued growth will be sustained by key growth areas where it will be best to invest and where massive employment can be generated," she said.

Lim also cited various investment opportunities for the five key growth areas.

"Although advances in our agricultural outputs were lulled by the natural calamity in 2012, this sector (agriculture) is set to regain a prime spot in our economy as an employment, export trade and GRDP major contributor," she said.

The official said, for instance, the price increase in banana world market from $3.6 to $6 per box and the opening of new global market like the US are among the things that will promote investment opportunities in agricultural sector.

The creation of rubber industry roadmap and the establishment of miniature research development to increase cattle meat production were also cited to benefit the agriculture.

When it comes to energy, Lim said the growth of all regions across Mindanao calls for the rising demand for more power and that will draw energy investors to pour in investments to meet the soaring demand.

Meanwhile, opportunities for the wholesale and retail trade include; investments of new hypermarts and supermarkets; enhance business processing and licensing systems; and, burgeoning housing and real estate projects, to name a few.

"The region's economy will continue to grow as business leaders and consumers manifest strong confidence in the economy of Mindanao, despite the disruption of peace and order," she said.

Lim said more IT firms are eyeing to establish branches in the region with Davao City identified as one of the country's outstanding BPO destinations for being the top Next Wave Cities for IT-BPO.

"Several big players in the BPO industry are also putting up branches in Davao, which bodes well for our employment targets and statistics, since the sector is estimated to be employing around 30,000 to 35,000 people by the end of 2014 and onwards 2015," she said.

Lim said the region will be a top drawer for more tourists in the country with massive promotion and tourism infrastructure development being undertaken by industry players.

"Currently, P1.8 billion has been allocated for Tourism Road projects," she said.

Lim said with the increase of the newly-opened flight routes in the region to other cities in Asia, tourist arrivals, investments, and income generation are expected to be on the rise.