DAVAO CITY — The city will focus on forming special economic zones during the two-day Davao Investment Conference here starting Thursday.
Arturo M. Milan, president of the organizing Davao City Chamber of Commerce, said that prospective investors, particularly foreigners, have been asking for more such zones.
“We need more special economic zones that are ready to become locations of new investments especially in manufacturing,” Mr. Milan told BusinessWorld.
Christian D. Cambaya, the head of the Davao City Investment Promotion Center’s Investor Assistance and Servicing Unit, has said his office has received proposals for the establishments of special economic zones.
“However, the proponents have not yet pursued their plans,” Mr. Cambaya said, noting that they “may have been waiting both for the right time as well as investors that are going to locate in their areas.”
During the event, Ricardo F. Lagdameo, Damosa Land Inc. (DLI) vice-president, will present opportunities for foreign companies to locate in economic zones in Mindanao, including the company’s Anflo Industrial Estate (AIE).
AIE has attracted locators from Japan, the US, China and the Netherlands after promoting its special economic zone and the rest of Mindanao to domestic and foreign investors.
At the same event two years ago, Mr. Lagdameo also made a similar pitch which highlighted Philippine Economic Zone Authority-accredited special economic zones in Mindanao, including the AIE.
The company said the presentation indicates the company’s commitment to promote Mindanao so investors will realize its potential.
Expected to attend the event are a 40-member Japanese delegation hosted by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Mindanao.
A Japanese company, Packwell Inc., which makes paper containers, said it plans to join the event. The company has also signed an agreement with DLI to locate at AIE.
The organizers also said that a Chinese delegation will participate, including executives from the Alibaba Group. Also expected to participate are diplomats and investors from South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Austria, the Netherlands and Sweden.
The event is held every two years. This year, it will focus on investment opportunities in the Halal trade, tourism, infrastructure, real estate, and information technology and business process management. — Carmelito Q. Francisco