Monthly Archives: June 2014

Mindanao exports up 15% in 2013

BusinessWorld Online
June 10, 2014

DAVAO CITY — Mindanao registered $7.6 billion in export receipts last year, 15% more than in 2012, despite the natural calamities that have hit the island in the last two years.
Luwalhati R. Antonino, chairperson of the Mindanao Development Authority, said in a statement on Friday that Mindanao’s export performance was “bullish”. This, considering that production had been greatly affected by typhoons Pablo (international name: Bopha) in December 2012 and tropical storm Sendong (Washi) the year before.

The country’s total exports in 2013 were placed at roughly $54 billion, based on data from the Department of Trade and Industry’s Web site.

“We anticipated a downtrend in some of the region’s agricultural produce, particularly banana and coconut, because of the typhoon, but on the contrary, banana remained our top dollar earner in 2013,” Ms. Antonino said, citing $911 million in exports last year, 45% more than what was shipped out the previous year.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, two months ago, said that the banana industry in Compostela Valley has recovered from the impact of the typhoon as the government, through the Land Bank of the Philippines, provided interventions so small growers could rehabilitate their farms.

However, Ms. Antonino said coconut and palm oil exports last year suffered the impact of the typhoon. Coconut exports during the year went down by 13% to $773.8 million as Davao Oriental bore the brunt of the typhoon. The industry contributed 14.9% of the island’s total exports last year.

Gov. Corazon N. Malanyaon said the province has started rehabilitating its coconut farms, although farmers and owners have been provided with options of growing other crops like rubber, cacao and even oil palm. — Carmelito Q. Francisco

US eyes investments in Mindanao

June 4th, 2014
Phil Daily Inquirer
Grig C. Montegrande

MANILA, Philippines—The United States (US) is now seriously considering investing in Mindanao, Malacañang said on Wednesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker’s courtesy call to President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday morning included discussions on reforms and trade between the two countries.

“We spoke about potential areas of US investment in the Philippines, and…they are looking at the potential areas of investments: car manufacturing, energy, infrastructure in Mindanao, infrastructure on mass transit, and also tourism,” Lacierda said during the televised press briefing.

He explained that the government’s peace pact with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has resulted in a better outlook for Mindanao.

“I suppose everybody is interested in investing in Mindanao because it’s really an area where there is a lot of promise. But because of the issue on the MILF before, there was great concern whether those investments can be—whether it is wise to invest in Mindanao,” he said.

“Now that we have come to a peaceful agreement with the MILF, many countries have been looking at Mindanao as a potential area for investment,” Lacierda added.

Lacierda said the United States and other member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) have expressed interest in the region.

During US President Barack Obama’s first state visit to the Philippines last April, he said Pritzker and a delegation of American businessmen will be coming to the country “to explore new opportunities.”

Aquino has drawn international praise for his government’s Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front after decades of conflict.

The government is now racing against time to submit the draft Bangsamoro basic law to Congress in the hope of getting it approved by year-end and ratified by the Bangsamoro people next year.

During the courtesy call, Pritzker “praised, complimented the President on his leadership, and also congratulated the President on all his accomplishments and what he has done for the country,’’ Lacierda said.

Pritzker and the delegation of American business leaders arrived in Manila for a series of meetings with government and business leaders to discuss how the country could continue developing a fair business climate, reduce market access barriers and increase transparency, the US Embassy said.

Pritzker would also deliver a major address on America’s economic engagement in the Asia-Pacific region, it added.