By Greg G. Deligero
More business agreements are projected in the three-country trade mission on May 17-31 in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia to be spearheaded by the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII).
As a followthrough of the trade mission in Singapore last year organized by the Davao City Investment Promotion Center (DCPIC), businessmen joining this year’s mission are expected to ink partnership with their counterparts.
“We hope that this time there will be agreements that will be finalized between companies,” said DCCCII executive director Mary Anne Abundo, adding that since the trade mission last year, which was more of an exploratory, business companies from Singapore are in constant communication with Davao City businessmen.
Joining the trade mission are at least 70 delegates coming from various industry sectors including manufacturing, agribusiness, food processing, real estate, government agencies and academe.
As of this writing, the Manila-based Association of Franchisers has confirmed participation with at least 10 delegates including the owners of AquaBest, Bioessence, Julies Bakeshop and Fiorgelato.
Aside from Singapore, the trade mission target areas are Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya in Malaysia and Batam City in Riau Islands province of Indonesia.
Abundo said the participation of the academe is new in the composition of the mission delegates. The sector, she said, will be interested in studying the certification and accreditation system of academic institutions in Singapore.
The academe will also study the SIJORI Growth Triangle, which combines the competitive strengths of Singapore, Johor (in Malaysia) and the Riau Islands (Indonesia) to make the subregion more attractive to regional and international investors.
Batam is the first Special Economic Zone (SEZ) opened in Indonesia and includes islands of Batam, Tonton, Setokok, Nipah, Rempang Galang and Galang Baru and lies on one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes between Sumatra and Singapore.
Under the growth triangle framework, Batam, along with other parts of Riau Islands, are a part of a Special Economic Zone. This zone eliminates tariffs and value-added taxes for goods shipped within the growth area.
Abundo said delegates from the academe will look into the possibility of replicating the study the SIJORI Growth Triangle in Davao-General Santos, Manado (Indonesia) and Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia).
“We will find ways how we can foster trading with in these shipping routes and even with Thailand and Vietnam,” she said.
In Singapore, Abundo the trade mission will focus on how to attract investors in manufacturing and real estate or construction sectors and how Davao City-based producers can penetrate the Singaporean market.
In Malaysia, she said, the mission will “look at the best practices and sharing of technologies” in rubber and palm oil production and follow up proposals for a Kuala Lumpur-Davao City direct flight by a Malaysian airline company.
By Greg G. Deligero