By Maya M. Padillo
DAVAO CITY — US Ambassador Sung Kim said US companies are continuing to look at Mindanao as possible destination for investment, citing the US companies planning to participate in the upcoming Davao Investment Conference 2019 (Davao ICON 2019).
“I know that a couple of US companies will be participating in Davao ICON so they continue to be interested. In fact we have a very active American Chamber of Commerce chapter here in Mindanao and we recently met them in Manila and they said there is still strong interest for Mindanao,” he said.
Mr. Kim added that these companies were not put off by travel advisories and do not view the security situation as a factor in investing in Mindanao.
“It should be mentioned that for any government their top responsibility is to protect their citizens… we will continue to look at the situation and see if any updating is necessary,” he said.
Mr. Kim reiterated the long history of investment by the US in the Philippines, noting that some firms are interested in Mindanao to help create jobs for young Filipinos.
He also said Mindanao is a natural place to invest for US firms because many US agencies are active there.
He also described the trade relationship with the Philippines as a long-running and mutually beneficial economic partnership.
He cited US companies like Coca-Cola and Procter and Gamble (P&G) that have operated in the Philippines for 100 years and continue to do well.
Mr. Kim also said the largest exporter on the Philippines is semiconductor firm Texas Instruments, while the largest employer in the Philippines is BPO firm Concentrix. He also said some of the biggest taxpayers in the Philippines are US companies.
“I hope that we will be able to continue and expand an investment relationship,” he said.