Exec: 70 Chinese to look for local biz opportunities

ABOUT 70 traders from Shanghai in China representing five groups are expected to be in the city next month in line with China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative.

Arturo M. Milan, president of Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., said the foreign traders will discuss with local counterparts potential partnerships in agriculture, manufacturing of medical equipment, tourism, other areas of manufacturing and services.

“There is a need to have serious efforts to capture them,” Milan told the reporters yesterday at the sidelines on the weekly Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao-Annex.

The representatives of the Shanghai-based companies will be in the forum on how the country could join China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative. The initiative is part of China’s economic development plans to create new cooperation opportunities with partner nations and facilitate the development of Chinese small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The representatives of the firms are part of the SME alliance in China. They would travel via chartered flight from Shanghai to Davao City.

“Once the chartered flight is successful, there may be regular flights,” Milan said.

There was an airline company that was earlier looking at the possibility of servicing the Xiamen-Davao route.

In September 2016, China-based airline firm XiamenAir had a test flight from Xiamen in China to Davao City to look into the marketability of the route. There were about 80 passengers who were on board a Boeing 737 aircraft.

Milan said they are optimistic that there would be an increase of tourists especially from China this year. According to the local travel and tour operators, he said they projected that there would be 250,000 tourists from Mainland China that would visit the city this year.

As of last year, the City Tourism Operations Office recorded that there were 9,231 tourists from China. The Chinese tourists ranked third in the top 10 list of foreign markets in the city next to Japan at 12,510 and United States of America at 20,779.

The plan to have direct link to China is among those that have been eyed to be pursued this year.

At present, the existing international links are from the city to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. The Davao-Singapore route was serviced by SilkAir and Cebu Pacific while the Davao-Kuala Lumpur link was initiated by AirAsia.

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