Real estate, tourism, manufacturing, and agribusiness have been increasingly drawing in investments into the Davao Region as it positions itself as one of the country’s economic pillars at the start of 2022.
This was the consensus reached during the recently held two-day 6th Davao Investment Conference (ICon) 2021 which showcased Davao businesses’ commitment to digitalization and technology adoption.
“The challenges we face today embolden us to build a stronger region for the future,” Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said, hailing the timeliness of the conference’s theme of “Davao Region: Strong Today, Stronger Tomorrow.”
“We welcome change and leverage technology in the pursuit of development in the areas of real estate, tourism, manufacturing, and agribusiness. Let this 6th Davao ICon usher in a new era in the ways we do business, reach the global market, and bring growth and development into the Davao Region in the years to come,” the mayor added.
Davao’s emergence as an economic hub is opportune as the country strives to recover from the pandemic, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.
“The Philippines remains on track to show a growth rebound in 2021. With the ongoing rollout of vaccination programs, our resilient manufacturing center, and the anticipated implementation of the regional comprehensive economic partnership in 2022, we remain an attractive investment destination,” Lopez said.
Davao ICon 2021 Chairperson Ricardo Lagdameo likewise pointed to the region’s growth as a major draw for investors before and after the pandemic.
“We grew by an average of 5.5 percent – better than the average of 4.8 percent of the country’s gross domestic product over the same two decades. In the 10 years prior to the pandemic, Region 11’s average growth was even more impressive at 7.3 percent, hitting a high of 9.2 percent in 2016, and faster than the national GDP growth rate of 6.4 percent.”
Dr. Maria Lourdes Monteverde, President of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Incorporated (DCCCII), spoke of the industries’ “resilience and adaptability to our ever-changing world.”
“We all have to learn to pivot and find innovative ways, not just to survive, but to thrive… the Davao Region and Mindanao are, with no doubt, the best places for investment,” she said.
One area for solid post-pandemic growth is tourism.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said focusing on experiential tourism products “can provide tourists with a deeper connection with our destinations and our culture. Renowned for our warmth and hospitality, the Filipino brand of service is something we continue to level up.”
Another booming sector is real estate as townships, mixed-use developments, and subdivisions continue to rise.
Fernando Zobel de Ayala, President and CEO of the Ayala Corporation, highlighted the important infrastructure developments that make the region an investment magnet, namely: the Davao City Bypass, the Davao Coastal Road, the Mindanao Railway, and the expansion of the Davao International Airport.
Jose Soberano III, Chairman, President, and CEO of Cebu Landmasters Incorporated that is currently developing the Davao Global Township, underscored the need to address the housing backlog while Sabin Aboitiz, President and CEO of Aboitiz Equity Ventures cited the need for more dynamic partnerships with the national and local governments.
Dennis Uy, Chairman and CEO of the Udenna Corporation Holdings Corporation, spoke about the vital role that information and communications technology (ICT) play in economic development.
“Operating digitally is the only way to stay in business given the mandated lockdowns and restrictions. Go digital, or go dark. Disrupt, or be disrupted. The pandemic made it clear to us that our vision to be an indispensable partner in nation-building is in part democratizing and accelerating the digitization efforts of the country,” he said.
Recordings of selected talks and exhibits will be available for viewing on the Davao ICon 2021 platform until December 11, 2021. For more information, contact the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Incorporated by emailing [email protected]