DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/29 July) — Preparing Mindanao for the 2015 ASEAN Integration will take center stage during the 22nd Mindanao Business Conference (Minbizcon) scheduled here next month, Romeo Montenegro of Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said during the Kapehan sa SM news conference today.
The integration will merge the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam – into a single market economy.
The three-day event opens on August 8 at SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang Premier.
Montenegro said they will push for an increase in the budget for infrastructure such as farm-to-market roads and credit and financing for investments in Mindanao.
John Gaisano Jr., conference director of the 22nd MinBizCon pointed out that the need for the island-region to prepare itself for the integration into an open market.
“The MinBizCon is the only forum where all problems [regarding business] in Mindanao can be presented since all issues and concerns come from the people themselves,” he said.
President Benigno S. Aquino III and 11 Cabinet members have been invited to the event.
“This is also a venue for businessmen and other stakeholders of the Mindanao business sector to raise issues and concerns to the national government and hear specific actions coming directly from them,” Gaisano added.
Gaisano said they are expecting between 1,000 and 1,100 participants to the annual business conference. (Florienne Melendrez/MindaNews)