HIGHEST NUMBER OF ATTENDEES. Davao Investment Conference (ICON) Program Head, John Tria says there are already about 300 local and foreign investors who confirmed to attend the two-day Davao ICON to be held on July 21-22 at the SMX Convention Center, Lanang, Davao City. Tria told reporters during the I-Speak press conference on Thursday, July 20, the said number of attendees is the highest among the previous conferences. The 4th Davao ICON is set to focus on the four key industries namely agri-business, tourism and recreation, manufacturing, and infrastructure and connectivity.(Robby Joy D. Salveron/davaotoday.com)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – About 300 local and foreign investors have confirmed attendance in tomorrow’s Davao Investment Conference (ICON), the highest number of participants among the previous conferences, an official said.

Davao ICON’s Program Head, John Tria told reporters on Thursday during the I-Speak press conference at the City Engineer’s Office, the two-day ICON is considered as the “biggest” investment conference of the year.

Tria stressed the three previous ICONs only have at least 250 participants.

“We’re very happy that we have many visitors not only here from Mindanao but as well as from other countries,” Tria said.

​The ICON will be held July 21-22 at the SMX Convention Center here, Tria mentioned investors from Malaysia, China, Singapore, and the British Chamber are just some of the foreign attendees who will be attending the event. He said out of the 300, about 100 of there are foreign investors.

Tria said the number of investors coming in the conference could still go up to 500.

The conference is set to boost investments in the four business sectors of the city namely agri-business, tourism and recreation, manufacturing, and infrastructure and connectivity.

Tria said despite the declaration of Martial law in Mindanao, the number of inquiries in the event has doubled or tripled compared to the past ICONs.

“The nice thing is that we have many inquiries, two or three times more than the previous investment conferences. It’s a happy problem when you have a lot of interest in the event,” Tria said.

Tria said the bigger number of inquiries and attendees is a “statement itself” that could answer the concerns regarding the Martial law.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella has announced in a press briefing in Malacaňang on Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte’s request to the Congress to extend Martial law in the entire island of Mindanao until December 31this year.

Meanwhile, with the possible extension, Davao City Investment and Promotion Center (DCIPC) Officer-in-charge, Lemuel Ortonio said they acknowledge the effect of Martial law in some sectors of the city.

“While our office does acknowledge that it will have an effect on the economy, it may not affect the Davao City economy in general but it may affect certain sectors specifically the tourism sector,” Ortonio said.

“Extending the Martial law would definitely have an effect on that,” he added.

However Ortonio said they will respect if the national government decides to extend martial law.

“In any case the national government does decide to extend martial law, of course we’ll respect that because it is coming from a wise information and it is for the betterment of the general public,” Ortonio said.

Apart from the presented figures, Tria said President Rodrigo Duterte will be there to grace the event together with cabinet secretaries: Transportation and Communication Secretary Arturo Tugade, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.

“Now is the time for the region and Mindanao to really showcase the kind of hope it brings and to give flesh to the promise it has given the country,” Tria said.(davaotoday.com)

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