International Trade Fair

Key business persons from the ASEAN Region discuss investment potentials during the 2nd BIMP-EAGA and IMT-GT Trade Fair and Business Leaders' Conference held from October 22 to 26 in Davao City. The business-matching sessions, conducted simultaneously with an international trade fair (right photo) cornered more than P6 billion worth of potential investments that are expected to promote trade within the BIMP-EAGA and IMT-GT sub-regional groupings


DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Top business players from two regional sub-groupings in ASEAN concluded an international trade fair and conference here Sunday with more than US$196 million worth of investments and booked sales.

The 2nd BIMP-EAGA and IMT-GT Trade Fair and Business Leaders' Conference, which gathered more than 1,500 participants mainly from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand cornered P6 billion worth of possible investments during the business-matching sessions, while initial reports from the Philippines and Malaysia indicate a total of 2.9 billion in booked sales from the international trade fair.

Other countries that participated in the five-day event that attracted more than 25,000 local and international visitors included Canada, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, UK and the USA.

BIMP-EAGA stand for Brunei Darussalam Indonesia Malaysia the Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area, while IMT-GT stands for Indonesia Malaysia Thailand Growth Area. The two sub-regional groupings were formed with the goals of promoting trade, investment, and tourism in less-developed states and provinces.

Among the products that caught the attention of the buyers included raw and processed food, textile, clothing, furniture and kitchenware. Service products from agri-based companies and tourism also fared well during the event.

Some of the big ticket investments sealed during the business-matching sessions included the proposed coffee plantation in Sultan Kudarat and the oil palm plantation in North Cotabato amounting to P1.5 billion each, an oil depot in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao worth P440 million, and a corn processing facility in South Cotabato amounting to P350 million.

"Although these figures are indicative, but these illustrate a re-invigorated interest on the two sub-regional groupings, which offer a wide-range of investment potentials," said Sec. Luwalhati Antonino, chair of the Mindanao Development Authority.

She added that the potential investments will provide approximately 117,000 possible employment for the people of Mindanao.

"What we have achieved so far only proves that international gatherings such as these can transcend beyond social and cultural affairs and can provide tangible results that can be translated into actual investments and trading," added Antonino.

Considered as this year's largest sub-regional trade fair and business gathering, the five-day event, held at SM Premier's SMX Convention Center in Davao City also featured simultaneous side events that included an ICT summit, exporters' forum, food festival, a golf tournament, and a film screening, all designed to attract foreign investments and promote regional cooperation within ASEAN and the Pacific region.

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