By Antonio Colina IV
DAVAO CITY – Business leaders here are planning to go on trade missions in countries whose embassies in Manila had issued negative travel advisories against Mindanao to promote the island’s potential as an investment destination.
Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII) President Art Milan said that trade missions are planned for Japan in September and Australia in October, to dispel the correct misimpression about the peace and order situation in Mindanao.
During the 2019 Davao Investment Conference (Davao Icon) at the SMX Convention Center last week, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said she would request President Duterte to exempt Davao City from his declaration of martial law.
The President declared martial law and suspended the privilege of writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao on May 23, 2017 following the attack launched by the Islamic State-inspired Maute Group in Marawi City.
Last December, Congress approved the President’s request to extend martial law and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus for the third time, until the end of 2019.
The reelected mayor of Davao said she would ask the city council to come up with a resolution requesting the President to lift martial in Davao City.
Milan believed foreign trade missions will encourage prospective investors to bring their business to Mindanao.
Davao City Investment Promotions Center (DCIPC) head Lemuel G. Ortonio said investment and tourism roadshows in several Asian countries held earlier intensified the “investment promotion efforts by focusing its direction in the international scale.”
The city government sent missions in Japan in 2017, Malaysia and Singapore last year, and South Korea in May 2019.
Ortonio noted that Davao is one of the cities in the country that had established good trading relations with Japan, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, United, Netherlands, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Iran, and Spain.
“This goes to show that Davao City is not only confined within the Southeast Asian market because we can also see that it goes beyond East and West Asia to Europe and North America,” he said.