THE United States is eyeing Mindanao for its next investment ventures, Malacanang said Wednesday.

In a press briefing, Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker paid a courtesy call on President Benigno Aquinio III on Wednesday and brought with her a delegation of businessmen who wanted to see where they could invest.

"They are looking at potential areas of investment, like car manufacturing, energy, infrastructure in Mindanao, infrastructure on mass transit, and also tourism," said Lacierda.

When US President Barack Obama made a state visit last April, he announced that Pritzker and a delegation of American businessmen will come to Manila to look into the possibility of investing in the country.

Lacierda said the business climate in the country has become more favorable following the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro by representatives of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Philippine government.

"Now that we have come to a peaceful agreement with the MILF, many countries have been looking at Mindanao as a potential area for investment. We’ve seen other countries—ASEAN nations looking into Mindanao. And so, the United States is also one of the countries interested in looking into investments in Mindanao," said Lacierda.

The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, signed last March 27, ended the decades-long conflict in Mindanao.

Pritzker and the US business delegation's trip to the country aims to underscore the America's commitment to deepen economic engagement in the ASEAN region.

She began the first leg of her Southeast Asian trip in Vietnam on Monday. From Manila, she is scheduled to proceed to Myanmar to meet with government officials, Burmese businessmen and civil society leaders. (SDR/Sunnex)