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Investors see Iloilo as next growth area

The British Chamber of Commerce Philippines (BCCP) wants to bring 50 companies to the Visayas region next month, planning a trade mission in Iloilo amid expectations that the island group would grow faster than the rest of the country.

BCCP executive chair Chris Nelson said in a press briefing on Friday that the delegates would include British and Filipino firms that might want to either expand or set up shop in the region.

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This comes nearly a year after the chamber led a trade mission in Davao City, wherein they also brought 50 companies, two of which have decided to do business, while some are still discussing their plans.

In this case, Nelson wants to exceed the number of companies they brought to Davao. He expects half of the members of the trade mission would be British firms. So far, however, only 12 companies have signed up, including DMCI Holdings Inc. (DMC), he said.

“Why the Visayas? While the Philippines continues to enjoy a high growth rate, the Visayas, according to Neda, is enjoying an even higher growth rate,” Nelson said.

According to a statement from the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), the region is expected to grow by 7.7-8.3 percent over the next five years. The entire country is expected to grow 7-8 percent annually until the end of the Duterte administration in 2022.

Iloilo City, in particular, has a “lot of opportunities,” Nelson noted, citing the city’s strong performance in terms of agribusiness, manufacturing and information and communications technology.

The city has also been part of the 10 most competitive cities in the past few years, according to the National Competitiveness Council.

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TAGS: BCCP executive chair Chris Nelson, British Chamber of Commerce Philippines (BCCP), Iloilo
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