The 7th Davao Investment Conference (Davao ICON 2023) aims to put a spotlight on the Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) investment climate for global collaboration through a business forum on July 19.
Joji Ilagan-Bian, chairperson for the BIMP-EAGA Council of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), said the Mindanao private sector should maximize investment and economic opportunities within BIMP-EAGA.
“We become a proactive player in the BIMP-EAGA if we educate ourselves by exploring our counterparts, having a closer look at the sub-region, and gathering collective strength. Since we, in Mindanao, must be the first to enjoy the fruits of this cooperation,” she said.
Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) executive director Undersecretary Janet Lopoz, in her speech, encouraged participants from various chambers of commerce, private sector groups, government institutions, and other stakeholders to grasp BIMP-EAGA economic opportunities.
“This is an opportune time for us to recalibrate and gauge how our chambers and the larger private sector of Davao could collaborate with its EAGA counterparts, and how Davao City can be a prime destination for EAGA investments,” she said.
MinDA deputy executive director Assistant Secretary Romeo Montenegro also stressed that despite past and current challenges in the global trade and investment landscape, BIMP-EAGA remains a strong, enduring, and relevant market for Davao City and other neighboring regions.
As BIMP-EAGA continues to endure in the last 29 years, Indonesian Consul for Economic Affairs Novita Sientya Deysie Supit and Malaysian Consul General Deddy Faisal both expressed optimism that the activity will open stronger collaborations among the private sector in the EAGA, particularly the micro, small, medium enterprises (MSMEs).
The three-day Davao ICON 2023, which started on July 17, is an annual conference that aims to attract local and foreign businesses to invest in the city.
The event aims to promote industries in the region that include manufacturing, agro-processing, tourism, information and communications technology, innovation, human capital build-up, and sustainability as its driving influences. | PNA