TAGUM CITY, Davao Del Norte – The Davao del Norte provincial government announced it was ready anew to welcome more investors.

The Department of Trade and Industry and the provincial government presented its economic zone and corridor development on Wednesday, June 29 at the Big 8 Corporate Hotel in Tagum City.

Romeo Castañaga, provincial director of DTI Davao del Norte said that the forum aimed to achieve awareness on the economic zone, corridor and cluster strategies that he said would boost investment generation. He said they also aim to encourage the business sector to expand their business activities in the province.

“Our role in DTI is to promote and make them (investors) trigger development,” he said.

As President-elect Rodrigo Duterte sits in Malacañang, Castañaga said that they “are not only aiming for an expansion of the coming investors in Davao City, but a new frontier.”

“If we have good logistics infrastructures then this can be pushed,” he said.

Outgoing Governor Rodolfo Del Rosario, who was also present in the forum, said that in the long run, “Davao del Norte will be the center of Region 11.”

“All of the goods produced in the northern part goes to Tagum City and goods in Davao City and Bukidnon will surely go to Panabo City,” Del Rosario said.

Castañaga said that as of 2011 of the Mindanao Center for Research and Development Cooperative profile, Davao Del Norte was among the leading cacao producing areas in Davao region with 4,372.48 hectares, along with Davao City with 4,441. 25 hectares.

He said that as of now, the areas of Asuncion, Kapalong, New Corella, San Isidro, Sto. Tomas, Talaingod, Samal Island and Panabo City are potential for cultivating perennial crops, including cacao.

“Other crops that are suitable to the province are corn, cassava, coconut, oil palm,rubber and mango,” he said.

DTI invited various resource persons including Ricardo F. Lagdameo, the vice president of the Anflocor Subsidiary Damosa Land Inc. who discussed the Anflo Industrial Estate Development Plans and Investment Opportunities.

Another resource person was Atty. Princess Claudin O. Balino, the legal manager of Hijo Resources Corporation who also discussed their company’s projects.

The forum invited participants from the private sector from Davao del Norte and Davao City, local government units, and various Chambers of Commerce and Industries.

One of the participants was Joji Felicitas Pantoja, chief operating officer of Coffee for Peace in Davao City.

Pantoja said that the objectives of the forum will “greatly” help Mindanao.

“The idea of the development in which they start from the areas near the sea up to the mountains will be a great help in the exporting of products rather than the other way around,” she told Davao Today in an interview.

Pantoja said that the development of the province will help secure the quality of the product they export.

“The idea of the forum in which the shipment here will go directly to the ASEAN countries, it will be an advantage since it will be cheaper in the logistics,” she said.

As an exporter of coffee to US and Canada, Pantoja experienced difficulty in the current system of export in the country.

Pantoja said that as of now, products still have to go through the country’s capital city in Manila, before exporting it to other countries.

Asked if she will invest in Davao del Norte, Pantoja said she is interested to partner with the Talaingod tribe since her Coffee for Peace coffee shop is supplied by coffee products of indigenous peoples in Mindanao.

Pantoja said they are partners with the Bagobo tribe in Davao City, the Talaandig tribe in Bukidnon, and the Matigsalug tribe. (davaotoday.com)

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