Duterte to grace 2-day Davao investment conference

July 20, 2017 - 7:30 PM
Davao-based brands are showcased in an earlier event: the 65th edition of design expo Manila FAME, last April. On Friday, President Duterte will grace the Davao investment conference (ICon), where investors from various countries will get a glimpse of business opportunities in the booming southern region. File Photo by Romsanne Ortiguero, InterAksyon.

DAVAO CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte will speak at the two-day Davao Investment Conference (ICon) which opens Friday at SMX Convention Center with at least 600 local and foreign business delegates.

Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) president Ronald Go said organizers expect 150 foreign delegates to the investment conference.

Now on its fourth year, Davao ICon is set to draw more investments especially in the manufacturing sector. However, Go said it would take some time for investors to do their due diligence before they commit to investing in Davao or Mindanao.

”We are trying to convince more investors to come in for the manufacturing sector,” Go said.

Among the early birds are groups of businessmen from China, 24 from Indonesia, 15 from Japan. Others will be brought in by the European Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Earlier, DCCCII Trustee Arturo Milan said there is a big potential in Davao that prospective investors can explore, especially considering the region’s vast natural resources.

Investors can count on Mindanao’s improved power industry given the increase in supply during the past months when power firms completed projects that address shortages. “The timing now is really right for investments,” he said.

Milan said the President is expected to highlight the government’s efforts to sustain the good business climate although Duterte himself is a big attraction.

Go said the business sector would also like to highlight to President Duterte issues on security, infrastructure, and government support to give them the ease of doing business.

Besides President Duterte, Friday’s opening will have Mayor Sara-Duterte Carpio and AirAsia President and Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandez.

The business sector looks forward to Fernandez’s inputs given that connectivity plays a vital part in improving trade between the Philippines and member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

DCCCII has noted air linkage is a major consideration for investors. It will also be significant for Davao in terms of getting a share of the big ASEAN market if air connectivity improves.