COTABATO CITY—While the 30th Asean Summit is being held in Manila, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has opened blueprints of potential economic investment venues, including Islamic banking and interregional trading with neighboring East Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Officials and economic gurus disclosed this during this midweek's Investment Priority Plan Roadshow here, organized by the ARMM Regional Board of Investments.
The IPP ARMM List (2017-2019) is a three-year guide map to the region's potential investment venues, namely: export industry; agriculture and aquaculture; basic industries; infrastructure; industrial service facilities; engineering industries; logistics; BIMP-EAGA-related investment enterprises; tourism; health and education services and facilities; halal industry; bank and non-bank financial institution including Islamic banking and finance; and energy.
BIMP-EAGA stands for Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area. It was developed during the administration of then President Fidel V. Ramos.
The IPP roadshow in ARMM is geared towards “Scaling Up and Dispersing Opportunities” in matching capital prospects with business opportunities to steer economic growth.
Lawyer, Ishak Mastura, chairman of RBOI, said ARMM has consistently reached or even exceeded its benchmark target on investment growth rate of P1 billion per annum during the last three years.
The region is further improving its economic potentials based on halal industry and enhanced Islamic banking.
Meanwhile, Anak Mindanao Party-List Rep. Sitti Dhalia Turabin-Hataman said a bill she has filed seeks to amend the Chatter of Islamic Investment Banking to allow conventional banks to open Islamic Banking Windows, and to increase authorized capitalization on Islamic banking in the country.
Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo co-sponsors the Islamic Banking Bill in the House of Representatives.
Basically, Islamic banking is non-interest bearing on deposits, but prescribes partnership investments (musharaka), through profit-and-loss sharing scheme.
A savings or current deposit is charged small percentage for service fee or safekeeping rates.
Other IPP roadshows will be scheduled later in key areas of the region, such as Maguindanao, Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi.
Regional officials raised investment opportunities in ARMM, as well as fiscal and non-fiscal incentives the government can provide or offer investors.
Rosamond Belderol, program officer of the Philippine Business for Social Progress, said Inclusive Business Models or IB in the national IPP list also suits ARMM.
Belderol said IB covers business activities of medium and large enterprises in the agribusiness and tourism industries, but is also providing business opportunities to micro and small enterprises as part of their value chains.
She said IB could help propel the local economy with such business models and social enterprises to bear sustainable economic growth.
The RBOI said the Brokering Business Investments in the Bangsamoro for Inclusive Development and Growth Project is being jointly implemented by PBSP, the Hineleban Foundation Inc. and RBOI.
Under the BRIDGe framework, it would adapt the IB as one of its business models under the Business Sustainability Framework in ARMM areas with strong economic potentials.