By Maya M. Padillo

DAVAO CITY — The city’s business chamber is focusing on helping companies build their marketing capability in 2020 following this year’s round of trade missions.

John Carlo B. Tria, incoming president of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII), said he wants to focus on capacity building, business promotion, and policy advocacy.

“These are the three major areas that we will develop,” he told the media at a forum last week.

He added that he will “discuss specific approaches under those three banners” as soon as the chamber drafts its plans, but add that the aim is to help businesses develop new markets and strengthen disaster resilience.

Mr. Tria also said that the chamber is planning to institutionalize and facilitate broader business matching between the area’s firms and investors in cooperation with the Davao City Investment Promotion Center (DCIPC).

This year, the DCCCII held several promotional campaigns overseas and hosted visiting business delegations, including those from China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan.

“We are seeing the effects (of these activities) and we would like to help sustain that over the next term under my leadership,” Mr. Tria said.

DCCCII outgoing President Arturo M. Milan said these trade missions primarily “introduce” Davao City as both an investment and tourism destination.

“These trade missions,” he told BusinessWorld, “make them aware how safe Davao City is to foreign investors and tourists, especially since most of the countries we visited issued negative travel advisories for Mindanao, including Davao City.”

President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s spokesperson announced earlier this week that Martial Law in Mindanao, which is set to expire by Dec. 31, will no longer be extended.

“It’s still too early to tell whether these trade missions will result in actual investments in Davao City, though two large investments have been put up by a Japanese company, Packwell, and Chinese company, Double Davao Printing and Paper Packaging Corp.,” Mr. Milan said.

“We have turned barriers into opportunities and we have seen and experienced changes in our city’s economic landscape… we have several exciting initiatives set in motion that will continue to take this chamber to the next level of service,” Mr. Milan said.