Japanese PM’s Davao visit seen to open biz prospects

THE VISIT of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the city on Friday along with Japanese investors will open investment opportunities for the entire island, an official of Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said.

In line with Mr. Abe’s visit, Romeo Montenegro, deputy executive director of MinDA, said yesterday in Wednesdays@Habi at Kape in Abreeza Mall that there would be an Investment Forum at Waterfront Insular Hotel.

The forum, he said, will serve as venue to showcase Mindanao investment potentials to the Japanese investors.

“There would be an interaction between the local private sector and Japanese investors,” Montenegro, as he hoped that their engagement would eventually turn into real investments on the ground.

Four days before their visit, a meeting was held with Japanese delegation led by Jin Sasaki of Ernst & Young LLC Japan at the office of MinDA. According to the agency, the meeting explored possible partnership with the Japanese government and private sector.

In a statement, MinDA shared the possible partnership was aimed to buoy infrastructure development such as road networks, railways, industrial parks and renewable energy projects.

Montenegro said some of these include hydropower projects in Caraga Region as well as the interest to assist in the establishment of Mindanao Railway System. “We will be coming up a list of projects that would soon be rolled out,” he said.

A workshop, he said, will be conducted next month to determine the specific projects that would be in the list and how much budget would these require. Once completed, the list would be presented to the Japanese government and its private sector.

Prime Minister Abe’s visit is expected to bolster ties between Japan and Philippines. He is the second key official that would visit Davao City after Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad in 1994.

“His visit will indeed make the ties with Japan to a high level,” Montenegro said.

Apart from the awaited visit of the prime minister, keys officials from the 10 member countries of Association of Southeast Asian Nations are expected to be in the city on Sunday for the launching of Asean 50. The Department of Tourism projected that there would be 1,000 delegates.

The Davao City Police Office assured that there is heightened security in the city. (By Kristianne M. Fusilero)

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