Mindanao to slowly recover from economic lag, says biz leader

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DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 12 Jan) – A prominent business leader here expressed optimism that Mindanao will slowly recover in 2021 from the economic lag it suffered last year due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Malling in Davao City circa 2020. MINDANEWS PHOTO

Maria Lourdes Monteverde, who will again be president of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII), said in a statement that Mindanawons must learn to “adapt and live” despite the threats of COVID-19 although she believes that the year 2021 will remain a challenging year, with or without the vaccines.

Monteverde, president of DCCCII from 2011 to 2012, will again take helm of the business community of the city starting January 23.

She said businesses should optimize their digital presence for their operations or marketing amid the pandemic, emphasizing the need to upscale the skills of the workforce to thrive under a new normal.

She encouraged the flourishing micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to register with the Department of Trade and Industry and Business Bureau.

“There is really a need to reboot the economy, and the government is giving measures – to support the business sectors especially, the MSMEs, including the manufacturing sector – such as the Bayanihan Act and the work-from-home schemes or flexible working hours,” she said.

Mindanao must be ready for the great reset in both the economy and the upcoming developments, according to her.

“Davao and Mindanao economies need to recover the lost ground and momentum it had pre-COVID, and we need to double up the efforts, especially since 2021 is also a pre-election year,” she said.

Monteverde added that Mindanao will “reboot, recharge, recover and have the great reset, as long as we don’t lose focus on giving importance to both the economy and the new wealth, which is our health.”

For his part, Mindanao Business Council president Vicente T. Lao said the government must improve logistics infrastructures that will benefit the agricultural sector as the world becomes more concerned about food security amid pandemic.

“As the world becomes more and more concerned with food security, the agricultural based economy of Mindanao will benefit from it. The government has to improve our logistics infrastructures so that goods being exported out of Mindanao will be cost effective and become globally competitive,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)

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