By Maya M. Padillo

DAVAO CITY — The Chinese island province of Hainan is seeking cooperation between Davao City in tourism, agriculture and trade, visiting Chinese officials said.

A delegation led by Mao Wanchun, chairman of the Hainan Provincial Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) met with Davao City officials as well as representatives of its private sector Wednesday at City Hall.

Mr. Mao said Hainan is eager to attract locators to its Global Trade Window, a type of economic zone for trading businesses located in a complex that is seeking investment from more than 50 countries.

“We welcome those who are interested in this program and invest in this building,” he said.

In agriculture, Mr. Mao said both Hainan and Davao City are tropical and can grow similar types of agricultural products. He also said Davao is welcome to showcase products at Hainan’s International Winter Agriculture Trade Fair every December.

“We welcome enterprises and delegates from Davao to showcase their agricultural products in Hainan as well as promote Davao City to Hainan,” he said.

He said he hopes to establish a sister city relationship between Davao City and Hainan’s Sanya City.

“In the future we would like to establish sisterhood relations between Sanya City in Hainan Province and Davao City. Sanya City is famous for tourism in China. It is also the most open area in China,” he said.

Mr. Mao said since tourism in Davao City is booming, it will be a priority sector for linkages between the two sides.

“President Rodrigo R. Duterte has visited China several times and was also in Hainan to attend the Boao Forum. During the last Boao forum, Mr. Duterte met President Xi Jinping. As such, I believe that both sides can sign cooperation agreements in various fields,” he said.

Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) President Arturo M. Milan welcomed Hainan’s approach this as a welcome development because the city is trying to expand trade relations especially now that the Davao City International Airport (DIA) is being positioned as an international gateway to Mindanao and the Brunei Indonesia Malaysia Philippines (BIMP) countries.

“That is a welcome development that they are open of expanding trade relations between Davao. Hopefully it would include the entire Mindanao,” Mr. Milan told BusinessWorld.

He said there is a need yo prospect for suitable opportunities in Hainan.

“There are a lot of products to be explored in terms of business. This is the first time that we are receiving officials from Hainan and I hope this would really translate into a bigger trade relation,” he said.

Generose D. Tecson, City Tourism Operations Office head, said tourism links with Hainan are an opportunity for Davao as such activities often lead to investment, with Davao in particular keen to attract more convention business.