Trade fair generates P8.9B in sales
An international trade fair and conference held recently in Davao generated more than $196 million (or roughly P8.9 billion) in investments and booked sales for the member states of the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-Eaga).
In a statement, the Mindanao Development Authority said the 2nd BIMP-EAGA and IMT-GT Trade Fair and Business Leaders’ Conference, which gathered more than 1,500 participants from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand, cornered P6 billion worth of possible investments during the business-matching sessions.
Initial reports from the Philippines and Malaysia indicated a total of P2.9 billion in booked sales from the international trade fair.
“Although these figures are indicative, these illustrate a reinvigorated interest on the two subregional groupings, which offer a wide range of investment potentials,” Mindanao Development Authority chair Luwalhati Antonino was quoted in the statement as saying.
The potential investments were expected to generate approximately 117,000 new jobs for Mindanao.
Among the products that caught the attention of the buyers were raw and processed food, textile, clothing, furniture and kitchenware. Service products from agri-based companies and tourism also fared well during the event, according to the Mindanao Development Authority.
Some of the big ticket investments sealed during the business-matching sessions included a proposed coffee plantation in Sultan Kudarat, and an oil palm plantation in North Cotabato each amounting to P1.5 billion. Other proposals include an oil depot in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao worth P440 million, and a corn processing facility in South Cotabato, amounting to about P350 million.
“What we have achieved so far only proves that international gatherings such as these can transcend beyond social and cultural affairs, and can provide tangible results that can be translated into actual investments and trading,” Antonino said.
Considered to be this year’s largest subregional trade fair and business gathering, the event attracted more than 25,000 local and international visitors including those from Canada, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The five-day event held at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City also featured simultaneous side events that included an ICT summit, an exporters’ forum, a food festival, a golf tournament, and a film screening, all designed to attract foreign investments and promote regional cooperation within the Asean and the Pacific region.
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