Posted on June 16, 2017
DAVAO CITY -- Conglomerates as well as the British and European business chambers have committed to join the 4th Davao Investment Conference (ICon) on July 21-22, a move that the city’s business chamber cited as a sign of support for investment opportunities in the region despite the declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
Among those that have confirmed participation include Aboitiz Power Corp., San Miguel Consolidated Power Corp., Lafarge-Holcim Philippines, Inc., PLDT Enterprise, 8990 Housing Development Corp., SM Prime Holdings Inc., Banco de Oro, Development Bank of the Philippines, Landbank of the Philippines, Philippine National Oil Co., Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Philippines Airlines, Pepsi ColaProducts Philippines, Inc., Alsons Development and Investment Corp., and the Dusit Thani group, according to the head of the organizing committee.
“I received a lot of inquiries if the event will go ahead because there seems to be a negative perception prevailing because of the declaration of martial law... the organizing committee said we really want it to be a go because for us in Davao, nothing has changed except heightened security entering Davao City, but we are business as usual,” Arturo M. Milan, head of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) committee overseeing the event, said in a media forum.
“We want to show to the world that everything is normal here as these companies are coming over because they know that it is peaceful here despite what is happening in other areas,” he added, referring to the still ongoing battle in Marawi City between government forces and the Maute group.
Chris Nelson, executive chair of the British Chamber of Commerce Philippines, whose members visited the city in late March, also confirmed participation and has been assisting in the promotion of the Davao ICon, according to Mr. Milan.
The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines has also given its confirmation, he added.
Belinda L. Torres, DCCCII vice president for professional and service ventures and marketing head for the conference, said the organization is expecting at least 400 companies to be represented in the event that will be held at the SMX Convention Center.
Aside from plenary sessions, business-to-business meetings are also being organized.
Infrastructure and connectivity, tourism, manufacturing, and agriculture will be the focus sectors of the gathering, which will also be attended by top government officials.
“Today investments mostly are in the service sector, example a lot of malls, condominiums are being constructed... but we need to balance also in terms of income generation and income is being generated in agriculture and manufacturing,” Mr. Milan. -- Carmelito Q. Francisco and Maya M. Padillo