It is slated on April 16 to 21, with the summit proper on April 19 – 20 hosted by the Sultan Kudarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation Inc. (SKCCIFI).
SOCSKSARGEN stands for South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City.
Elena U. Haw, chairperson of the Federation of Business Chambers Mindanao Foundation, told reporters the first SOCSKSARGEN Business Conference was held in 1999 in General Santos City and was not sustained due to lack of people who will organize the event.
“From now on, we hope to make this a yearly event to make the region competitive,” she said.
Haw said the area has great potentials in agribusiness, particularly in the fields of oil palm, fruit and animal industry such as goats and hogs.
For aquamarine industry, she noted the capability of the area to produce tilapia, bangus and eel.
A trade fair will be held at the provincial capital in Isulan town, while discussions will be in Tacurong City. Invited key speakers are Trade Secretary Peter Favila and Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap.
Vispocious Ramos, SKCCIFI president, said the business summit would increase the chances of the province to become an investment destination.
The province is presently a major producer of oil palm and native coffee but more investors are needed to fully develop their production.
Ramos said they will conduct a road show in March in different parts of Mindanao to drumbeat the conference as well as the tourism potentials of Sultan Kudarat.
‘We expect to lure in more investors to our place so that our economic climate will be enhanced,” he said.
Sultan Kudarat Rep. Suharto Mangudadatu assured the summit’s organizers of the full support of the provincial government headed by his father, Gov. Pax Mangudadatu.
“The business sector is one of the backbones of the local government unit. If there are no businessmen, localities would not be developed,” he said.
Urging the cooperation of everybody, the congressman stressed the province is ready to hold such business conference.
“The conference is one way of strengthening the business sector to become competitive in the global market,” he added.
Mangudadatu said government units must support the business sector, otherwise investors might go to other areas where they can feel the concern of the local government. (MindaNews)