DAVAO CITY- The BIMP-EAGA IMT-GT (Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia Philippines East Asean Growth Area) (Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle) trade fair and business leaders conference was a booming success said an official of the Mindanao Development Authority.
Romeo Montenegro, director for investment promotions MinDA said that about 25,000 people visited the trade fair which was held at SMX Davao in SM Lanang from October 22 to October 26.
There were about 1,500 registered participants overshooting their targets which were placed at 600 to 800 expected participants. Montenegro said that about 1,000 participants were from different parts of the country while 500 were foreign participants coming from the BIMP-EAGA, IMT countries plus delegates from the United States, Great Britain, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Canada.
The trade fair generated $64-million (P2.4 billion) in book sales. Though not a selling area, the respective countries brought with them samples of their showcased products during the event.
The business-to-business matching sessions also produced 11 proposals for investments. These proposed projects amounted to projected investment costs of $132-million or P6-billion. These projects if realized can generate to about 160,000 jobs.
Montenegro said these projects are agri-business in nature. These include; a corn processing plant in Cotabato, a coconut processing facility in Davao del Sur, oil palm investments in General Santos, Davao and North Cotabato, a coconut processing plant in the Autonomous Region for Moslem Mindanao.
The MinDA official said that there were also businesses or agreements forged which were not included in the business-to-business matching. Montenegro said he is happy most of the investment leads were in Mindanao but they were hoping other countries also had successful business matchings for investments within their respective areas.
Montenegro said the success of the event highlighted the capability of Mindanao particularly Davao to host such big events in the future. (PIA/RG Alama)