The Philippine Star
By Louella Desiderio
July 8, 2013
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is urging investors to invest in Mindanao given huge opportunities in agriculture, manufacturing and tourism.
The Trade department said Mindanao offers investment opportunities and a significant contributor to the countryâ€™s export performance and economic development.
â€œMindanao is in a special position to provide solid support system to export growth and economic development,â€ Trade Undersecretary Ponciano C. Manalo Jr. was quoted as saying during a recent investment conference organized by the DTI through its Regional Operations Development Group in partnership with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency.
â€œThe opportunities in Mindanao are so meaningful in this administration, government sectors work together and support priority in agriculture, agro-industrial food processing, manufacturing and even tourism,â€ he said.
Mindanao, he said, should be considered by investors interested in agriculture given the island groupâ€™s land area.
Manalo noted that eight of the top 10 provinces producing coconut which is a global favorite, are in Mindanao.
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He noted that coco coir and peat are traditional export favorites.
Value added products like desiccated coconut, virgin coconut oil, and coconut water also have strong demand from foreign markets.
Manalo said the coconut industry offers huge investment opportunity given rising consumer demand for coconut based food ingredients.
Apart from coconut, he said the carrageenan which is extracted from a variety of seaweeds, also offers investment opportunities.
â€œCarageenan has many uses and its main application is on food products where it is used primarily for its gellying and thickening properties. Seaweed production is an integral part of the Mindanao industry cluster,â€ he said.
Opportunities are likewise available in other tropical fruits like mangosteen, banana, pineapple and papaya, which all enjoy huge demand overseas.
The region, the DTI said, will also be a good investment destination for manufacturing and tourism.