British companies are considering Mindanao as a new investment destination given the island’s huge growth potential.
British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (BCCP) chairman Chris Nelson said a private sector delegation composed of exporters and investors will be heading to Davao City by the end of the month to explore business prospects and opportunities in Mindanao.
Nelson said 10 companies have initially indicated their participation while more are expected to join in the coming days.
The delegation will look at sectors that have high potential and are much needed in Mindanao such as agribusiness, information communications technology, infrastructure and energy.
“The Philippines has been a key focal focus in terms of investment and opportunity by the UK. What we’ve done now is we will look at regional development, take the interest not only to Philippines but to Mindanao. I think that is in line with the government’s overall objective in which it wants to see overall development across the country to bring everybody up,” Nelson said.
Rather than the peace and order situation in Mindanao, Nelson said the bigger concern among the participating British firms are finding the right market opportunities and the right partner, as well as the ease of starting and doing business in the country.
“We’ve seen development in Davao, Cagayan de Oro and in other cities. In terms of security, we always listen and take the advise of the authority, both local and through our embassy. But I think it’s fair to say that there is that interest level in Davao and CDO,” he said.
According to the BCCP, Mindanao is currently at the forefront for business development with a number of factors that make the region particularly attractive not only to Filipinos but to global investors as well.
Mindanao is home to 34 economic zones catering to multiple sectors that provide locators with incentives to set up operations.
In addition, eight out of the 10 Philippine provinces with the highest coconut production are located in Mindanao.
“Overall, the Philippines is very attractive, good growth story, and you have the 10-point plan which we fully endorse and support, particularly an aspect there of opening up the Constitution to foreign investors. We believe that would be a great boost to your FDI (foreign direct investments) because when you look at FDI in the Philippines compared to your Southeast Asian neighbors, it’s relatively low,” Nelson said.
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