By Antonio Colina IV
DAVAO CITY – The opening of new international flights connecting Mindanao to other countries in the Southeast Asia will place the island on the radar of the international investors next year, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDa) public relations head Adrian Tamayo said.
Tamayo said that the trade relations of Mindanao with other Southeast Asian countries are expected to be strengthened with the opening of new direct flights Davao City to Manado, Indonesia and Zamboanga City to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia on March 31, 2020.
“Given the institutional mechanisms established and/or facilitated this year, the connectivity projects linking Davao and Manado, Zambo and KK, and trade relation agreements with other nations outside Southeast Asia, Mindanao would enjoy better comparative position as an investment destination,” he said.
He added these more opportunities would generate employment and livelihood for the Mindanawons.
Tamayo said the renewed business interest also came after the rationalization of the projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program, a flagship massive infrastructure initiative of the government.
“Such rationalization signals investors to pour in investments as they see clearer instruments to invest,” he said.
He believed Davao Region “would play a crucial role as the gateway and showcase window for Mindanao,” and that it would in effect experience an “increase in tourist arrivals and pour-in of investments in real estate and properties, and construction industry.”
Tamayo said the services sector would remain as key driver of growth in the region.
“More trade, business and tourism missions will also be organized next year, with Davao taking central role in most of the missions,” he said.
He added the agency under the helm of MinDA chairman Manny Piñol would provide training for skills and livelihood on halal products and other agricultural produce in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to take advantage of the huge halal market of the Brunei, Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area.
He said the barter trade the facility will enhance Mindanao’s advantage.
“Productivity of farms and fishing is expected to improve next year as MinDA partners with LGUs in linking up production areas to various markets. This will mean effective income to farmers and fishermen,” he said.