Organizers of the 4th Investment conference will push for establishing Davao City as an air connectivity hub south of Manila as a means to promoting the Davao region as an investment and tourism destination.
“We will press strongly the need for an autonomous authority to upgrade the Davao airport,” said Arturo Milan, trustee of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII).
“For once that is realized, we can market Davao City in the same manner that Cebu marketed itself as an investment and tourism destination,” he said.
Milan and DCCCII officers Rolando Go (president), program committee chairperson trustee John Tria and Bella Torres (vice-prsident) assured the KapehansaDabawat the SM Ecoland on Monday that it is all systems go for hosting of the 4thICon, considered the biggest business conference yet hosted by Davao City.
The chamber officials said hundreds of delegates from Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Japan as well as Great Britain and Europe have confirmed to participate.
“We are now open for business,”Milan said, adding that the hosts are looking forward to drumbeat the Davao region’s willingness to welcome investors in agriculture, tourism, infrastructure and manufacturing.
“For instance in agriculture we would like to attract investors to rubber or palm oil,” he said.
Tria said the British chamber has expressed interest in the Davao region and its 6 million population as a market and as the setting for a wide array of partnerships.
“The conference is certain to open up opportunities both ways,” he said.
The DCCI officers said they would strongly press for developing Davao as an air connectivity hub through the establishment of an authority and the upgrading of the airport.
They said the connectivity and access provided by an airport is the first thing that always comes into the mind of potential investors.
“Hence, we must take advantage of the window of opportunity provided by the Duterte to have this objectives realized,” said Milan.
He said that Davao remains the shortest link to Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Malaysia.
“It is a strategic advantage that will lower the cost of business and time of travel,” he said.
The 4thICon is scheduled on July 20-22 at the SMX convention center in Lanang, Davao City.
It is expected to bring together potential buyers and investors to discuss business opportunities.