DTI, Jica push for more investments in MindanaoBy Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Department of Trade and Industry and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) are pushing for the creation of new jobs and promotion of investments in the poverty-stricken regions of Mindanao.
Jica underscored the need to promote potential investment areas in the island, particularly to foreign investors, and noted that about 60 percent of Mindanao’s population are poor farmers and fisherfolk and businesses there are mostly driven by domestic investors.
To help attract investments and enable local industries become more competitive in both the domestic and international markets, the DTI and Jica have organized an investment conference in Davao City next week to promote trade opportunities in the so-called priority industry clusters.
The target is to promote awareness on the country’s cluster-based industrial development strategy, which was developed through the National Industry Cluster Capacity Enhancement Project (NICCEP).
“This conference will be conducted to move forward the collaborative efforts in developing and promoting industry clusters nationwide. Likewise, it intends to make the most of the private sector’s parallel initiatives in boosting investments in the country, particularly in Mindanao,” noted Trade Secretary Gregory L. Domingo.
“We expect that the conference will attract actual sizable investments to the selected industry clusters. With the various development efforts done to support these industry clusters, we envision the countryside, particularly Mindanao, to achieve economic growth through the expansion of its industries, inflow of investments and generation of employment,” added Trade Undersecretary Merly M. Cruz.
The conference intends to promote the country as a viable investment destination for various sectors including agri-business, information and communications technology (ICT), support to tourism, health and wellness, and manufacturing, particularly fresh and processed tropical fruits, processed food, rubber, coconut, aqua-marine, and poultry.
The NICCEP is a three year project funded by Jica in cooperation with DTI and in coordination with other government agencies and private sector organizations to develop industry clusters nationwide. These industries include dairy, bamboo, coffee, mango, banana, seaweed, rubber and tuna.