DAVAO CITY, Philippines – “Davao is not just the gateway to infinite investments – it is a world of infinite investments.”
This was how Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte described the city’s businessclimate to the crowd of about 300 local and foreign investors during the opening of the 4th Davao Investment Conference (ICON) on Friday, July 21 at the SMX Convention Center in Lanang here.
In her keynote address, Duterte said the conference is the “best chance for the city to showcase investment opportunities” and prove that “the city is conducive to investment” despite the security issues.
Mayor Duterte admitted in a press conference after her speech that the implementation of Martial law in the whole island of Mindanao as declared by her father, President Rodrigo Duterte has affected the business climate of the city, particularly the tourism sector but assured that the city is safe for business.
“This year’s ICON is the best chance for Davao to showcase not only various investment opportunities, but to prove that the city is conducive to investment, now more than ever, with the heightened security forces and increased police visibility across the city and other peace and order programs in place to ensure that businesses are safe and secure,” Duterte said in her speech.
She stressed that the city’s land, air, and sea linkages, tropical weather, efficient facilities, competitive cost of doing business, and highly literate and competent professionals in various industries are the unique advantages of the city that make it conducive for investments.
“Davao is a business-friendly city, one of the most highly-competitive cities in the country in terms of ease of doing business,” Duterte said.
The 4th Davao ICON Chairman, Arturo Milan honored the visitors and said they will have a first-hand experience of Davao under martial law.
“Now you will have a first-hand experience of what it’s really like in Davao under this Martial law. Your mere presence today shows that you believe in what the Davao region has to offer and believe what Filipinos are capable of,” Milan said.
Milan added that Davao is one of the “safest cities to invest in.”
Meanwhile, Chris Nelson, President of the British of Chamber of Commerce Philippines testified as to how the city provided business opportunities and recognized the help and support of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII) for the success of the trade missions they’ve conducted in March with 50 companies in the city.
“I want to thank the Davao Chamber, we said we will support you, you supported us, for me that’s about partnership and friendship and frankly that’s the most important point ever,” Nelson said.
Nelson also added that they continue to establish more British company with interest in the Philippines.
Duterte said Davao City is committed to sustain an enabling environment conducive for businesses to grow.
“This includes our strong emphasis on environmental preservation and protection, so we expect possible partners to be aware of existing local and national environmental laws implemented in the city,” the mayor said.(davaotoday.com)