ZAMBOANGA CITY (Darwin Wee / 31 Jul) Some of the county's top business leaders and government economic managers are expected to attend the two-day 15th Mindanao Business Conference here on August 31.
The conference will give business leaders substantial insights and comprehensive information about Mindanao.
"The presence of top business leaders will surely change the present image of Mindanao, since the problem on peace and order has been the major stumbling block in luring investors to do business in Mindanao," said Teresita Sebastain, conference director and regional governor of the Zamboanga Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Sebastian said they are expecting at least 1,000 participants to attend the business confab. "Aside from businessmen from Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon, different corporate officials and representatives from neighboring countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, and the northern territory of Australia are also expected to participate as observers," she said.
Jose Batausa, president of the Zamboanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc., the presence of top business and government leaders in the conference will help Mindanao achieve its goal of becoming the country’s most promising economic hub.
With the theme: “Mindanao: The Best of the Philippines,” Batausa said it willserve as an occasion to review and examine programs that will help boost the local products, especially the huge agricultural sector of Mindanao and the critical role of the small and medium enterprises in countryside development.
As many as 50 Small and Medium Enterprises from Mindanao have signed up to join the conference’s trade exhibition and fair. About half of those who will attend the fair are manufacturers of new products from the Zamboanga Peninsula region. At least 15 others said they will put up booths that will exhibit small items and souvenirs.
Celso Lobregat, the mayor of Zamboanga City, said the local government is supporting the conference. “We are supporting this important conference,” he said.
Zamboanga Peninsula region has posted the highest growth among the country’s 17 regions with a 7.2 percent jump in its gross regional domestic product in 2005, a significant improvement form its4.1 percent growth in the previous year.
The Minbizcon is an annual conference of all top chamber of commerce and industries in Mindanao. It has been held in different regions since 1992.