With its rich natural resources, the peace about to be achieved in the region, and the generally improved business climate in the country, Mindanao will be a great place to invest in, President Benigno Aquino III told Malaysian businessmen at the close of his two-day Malaysian state visit last Friday.
The Business Opportunities Forum was attended by around 200 top businessmen in that country.
President Aquino described Mindanao as a “land so fertile that a patch of it left unattended for a short while becomes quickly overgrown.” He added that “investing this early in Mindanao is an opportunity that is presenting itself to all of us.”
In a separate forum at the Financial Club of Indonesia, Trade Undersecretary Ponciano Manolo describes Mindanao as “a fertile ground for palm oil, rubber and coconut production, agriculture, fisheries, food manufacturing and other agribusiness activities. He also gave a rundown of what the government is doing to attract investors into the region, like the development of economic zones and incentive packages for specific areas.
The peace-making process about to culiminate soon is also expected to open economic opportunities for people in Mindanao, President Aquino told his Malaysian audience.
“Through political will, the determination to bring about lasting peace and stability, and mutual trust among all stake holders and, with the help of partners like Malaysia, the Filipino people are on the cusp of lasting peace in Muslim Mindanao: Peace that will likewise open the floodgates of opportunity for provinces in that region.”
He likewise cited the inroads his government has made in restoring business confidence through fighting corruption, building infrastructures, improving the educational system to turn out more highly skilled manpower, and introducing reforms to facilitate doing business in the Philippines. World class amenities and a warm, welcoming people also await those who would come and invest in the country, he added.
During his state visit, President Aquino invited Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement on the Bangsamoro sometime this March.