Davao Chamber VP: Bangsamoro sparks interest of Arab investors in Mindanao

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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte shares a light moment with Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Interim Chief Ministter Al Haj Murad Ebrahim on the sidelines of the inauguration of BARMM at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex in Cotabato City on March 29, 2019. Also in the photo is Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Carlito Galvez Jr. KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/10 April) – The creation of the new Bangsamoro government, which is seen to improve the peace and order condition in Mindanao, has generated a lot of interest from Arab investors, a business leader said in an interview on Wednesday.

Carlo B. Tria, Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. executive vice president, such interest may lead to the opening of direct flights from Davao City to Qatar by Qatar Airways.

He said this has become more feasible because the city is a “gateway to Mindanao” for most of the foreign investors who would like to set up their businesses in the island.

“I think many Middle Eastern business groups are interested in the result of the BOL (Bangsamoro Organic Law). They probably see a lot of opportunities there that they would like to partner with local businesses,” he said.

“They are interested in the result of the establishment of BTA (Bangsamoro Transition Authority) and, of course, the rest of Mindanao’s growth, which was 11 percent, almost double the rest of Asia. That’s already something worth examining and studying,” he added.

Based on Republic Act 11054 which created the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the BTA will serve as interim regional government until the holding of elections in 2022.

Tria said a group of Arab delegates will fly to Davao from Qatar, arriving a day before the scheduled two-day Davao Investment Conference (Davao ICon) at the SMX Convention Center here on June 20 to 21.

Details of this new international flight have yet to be disclosed by the airline, he said.

The airline announced last year Davao City and Cebu are among the four areas in Southeast Asia where it plans to open direct flights.

The airline’s new destinations include London Gatwick, United Kingdom; Cardiff, United Kingdom; Lisbon, Portugal; Tallinn, Estonia; Valletta, Malta; Bodrum, Antalya and Hatay, Turkey; Mykonos and Thessaloniki, Greece; and Málaga, Spain.

Davao ICon 2019, the fifth since 2011, is expected to gather 800 to 1,000 local and foreign delegates.

Themed as “Davao: Your Southeast Asian Investment Destination,” Tria said the event aims to encourage investments in Davao Region by showcasing investment opportunities in tourism, infrastructure, and real estate, information and communications technology, and Halal trade and tourism.

Davao ICon 2019 highlights include business conference, business matching and trade exhibition. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)

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