2018: Business sector optimistic

INDUSTRY leaders have expressed optimism for the incoming year as they cited the gains of their respective industries this year.

 In the banana industry, for instance, Stephen Antig, executive director of Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association, said they are looking at having good business relations with their market especially China.



 “We hope that prices (of the good) will continue to go up in China,” Antig said. At present, he said the price of bananas exported from the Philippines now pegged at $8-$9 per box compared in June when it only amounted $3-$5.

 Bulk of the exports, he said, was from Mindanao.

 Antig said they are also looking forward on the plans of the national government to address the high tariffs imposed in Japan. Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol earlier said in a statement that Japan imposed 8.4% tariff for Philippine bananas during off-season and 18.4% during the fruiting season to protect their fruit farmers.

 “With the personal and official involvement of President Duterte and given his friendship with Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe, things are expected to move faster now,” Piñol said.

 Meanwhile, Davao del Norte Gov. Anthony Del Rosario, chair of Regional Development Council XI, said they are also bullish on the economy next year. He said the region is also expected to benefit on the implementation of infrastructure projects like the Mindanao Railway System (MRS).

 “With the MRS, there would be fast movement of our products,” Del Rosario said. The national government planned to start the system, beginning at the phase from Tagum City in Davao del Norte up to Digos City in Davao del Sur.

 The tourism sector also expected an increase in tourists arrivals of about 10% next year with the addition of the flight between the city and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. This is the city’s second international flight next to existing Davao-Singapore link.

 Roberto Alabado III, regional director of Department of Tourism XI, said the 10% target would account to have an additional 300,000 tourists. As of September this year, the department recorded 1.918 million domestic tourists, 113, 305 foreign tourists and 31, 482 overseas Filipinos who traveled the region.



 “We are also expecting Dusit Thani to open next year. Hopefully, there would be another international chain of hotel that would set up here in the city,” Alabado said. He said they would also continue to boost the promotions of other tourist attractions in the region.

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