Japanese businessmen can take advantage of the numerous opportunities and business prospects that await them in Mindanao under President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, Secretary Datu HJ. Abul Khayr Alonto, chairman of the Mindanao Development Authority, has said.
Alonto briefed the delegation of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the potential of Mindanao as the next investment destination in the Philippines, citing growth in its economy in recent years.
“Mindanao has been experiencing unprecedented improvements and significant developments in our economy in recent years,” Alonto said.
More than 200 key Japanese government officials, private sector representatives, and businessmen from Mindanao participated in the Philippines-Japan business forum at the Waterfront Insular Hotel in Davao City.
The forum, which was also attended by President Duterte and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, was organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in partnership with the Davao City Investment Promotion Center.
Abe pledged $8.7 billion worth of business opportunities and private investments for the Philippines upon his arrival on Thursday, January 12.
The island-region posted a 7.5 percent increase in gross regional domestic product (GDP) in 2014, which surpassed the national average of 6.2 percent.
Mindanao’s annual investment from 2001 to 2010 only averaged US$125 million, but leaped to US$1.2 billion average annual investment between 2011 and 2015.
Alonto said the 10-fold increase in the last four years was buoyed by capital investments in the energy sector with US$3.5 billion from 2011 to 2014.
“Mindanao has bountiful natural wealth as it is touted as the “Food basket of the Philippines. It is blessed with favorable agro-climatic conditions, with fertile soils, and rich biodiversity which makes it suitable for food production and agribusiness development,” he said in a statement.
As of 2014, Mindanao’s agricultural land area represents 36 percent of the Philippines’ total farm area but yields 43 percent of the country’s total farm produce.
Mindanao accounts for 89 percent of the country’s pineapple production, 82 percent of the bananas, and 74 percent of coffee. The country’s 99 percent production of rubber also comes from Mindanao.
As for the country’s livestock industry, Mindanao contributes 39 percent of the country’s production of goats and 44 percent of its cattle.
“The future of Mindanao looks exciting that makes the region as the country’s next investment destination,” he said.