Davao investment up by 44% last year; 46,000 jobs generated

Of the said amount of investments, DTI 11 added, 46,416 jobs were created, a boom of 18 percent from 2006’s 39,000.
Trade and Industry Assistant Secretary Merly M. Cruz said the region’s performance in last year’s investments and jobs score card only show that “we really are enjoying a robust economy here in Davao Region.”
“With the efforts of various agencies and associations, we were able to conduct and implement a number of projects and initiatives last year. These initiatives have helped us a lot in surpassing our performance in the previous year,” she said.
As of November last year, at least 10 companies registered with the Board of Investments (BOI) Davao. These companies are into the production/operation of banana chips, coco fiber and peat, knock down pallets, hydro power plant, recycling, information and communications technology (ICT), and cold storage facility.  
Moreover, the National Economic Research and Business Assistance Center in Davao (NERBAC Davao), along with the Mindanao Economic and Development Council (MEDCo), Mindanao Business Council (MinBC), Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII), and the government of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), organized a 14-member delegation for a trade and investment mission to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) last March 2007 in order to encourage investments in the region.
After five months, the mission immediately realized several results, such as sales, market tie-ups, and follow-through investment mission.
Based on the report of NERBAC, Davao-based Sagrex Corporation shipped out 500 kilograms of microwavable bananas on June 16, 2007 and another 20 metric tons on October 30, 2007.
Meanwhile, the Mindanao Pearl Center and YY Sea International, both based in Zamboanga, were able to get orders of P2.5 million worth of bangles and mikimoto pearl and P12 million of bottled sardines, respectively.
The Maharlika Agro-Marine Ventures, which launched its Virtual Poultry Farming project during the mission, had encouraged the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) based in KSA to invest and own some of the 49 percent of the aggregate equity of the company’s Coronon Poultry Farm in Davao del Sur.
Aside from the KSA mission, NERBAC Davao, being the investment promotion arm of DTI 11, also assisted in the successful conduct of the 1st Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area Investment Conference (BIMP iCon) last October 22-23, 2007.  
A total of 21 projects were discussed by prospective partners during the iCon’s business-matching sessions.
Among the big ticket projects are the agreement inked by the MinBC, Davao Integrated Development Program (DIDP), and United Kingdom-based financier MCC Capital Projects, Ltd. for the development of strategic infrastructure projects with the Mindanao Railway System and Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS) Bridge as priorities; coal mining project to be explored by Filipino and Indonesian businessmen in East Kalimantan, Indonesia; and Oleo Chemicals project between Mindanao and Sabah, Malaysia for possible joint venture arrangement in coco oil and oil palm processing.
Cruz expressed positive economic outlook for 2008 especially that more projects and interventions are now on the pipeline. (DTI-XI/JMM)