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PIA Press Release

2010 is year for ICT, mining, agri in Region XI

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (9 February) -- The National Economic Development Authority XI (NEDA XI) sees brighter prospects in the field of ICT, mining, and agriculture for Region XI this year.

In this year's Socioeconomic Performance and 2010 Development Outlook presented by NEDA during the Kapihan sa PIA, it expects a continuous resiliency of the region in the light of recovery of global economies.

NEDA regional director Maria Lourdes Lim cited the sectors of ICT (high-end BPO), mining, high value agribusiness, tourism and renewable energy as the potential industries that are most likely to spur growth in the region.

These industries are the same sectors which the national government intends to prioritize. "It so happened that all of these industries are existing and active in our region," Lim said.

Given the knowledge of potential investors who expressed willingness to open investments here, NEDA sees the strength of the ICT sector particularly the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).

"In 2010, it is seen to employ 9,700 more persons than in 2009 at 7,000 persons. This sector has substantially contributed to the region's employment generation and economic growth," she added.

In the agriculture sector, NEDA sees a continuous tapping on the halal market to boost its global competitiveness while the tourism sector will strengthen its position as an ideal haven for both local and foreign retirees.

With government's assistance to fastrack exploration permits approval process, the mining sector is expected to receive potential investors.

NEDA, on the other hand, also posted three major challenges that the region will continue to face this year.

A major hindrance in the agribusiness sector especially in the banana export industry is the unresolved proposal to ban aerial spraying of fungicides. Region XI will also be affected by the looming power shortage to be experienced in the entire Mindanao, as well as the high cost of domestic shipping. (PIA XI) [top]

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