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PIA Press Release

Malay investors eye Sabah-Davao trade

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (21 October) -- MB Sophia, the first passenger-cargo vessel that would sail Davao-Sandakan is seen to boost trading activities the between Philippines and Malaysia.

Malaysian investors Badaruddin Ismail and HJ Faisal Mohammad of D'Sophia International Shipping Line visited the city yesterday (October 19) to check the area and start the legal procedures to pave the way for the operation set on the first week of December.

"We are set to sail the 780-passenger vessel after complying the necessary requirements needed in this business," Ismail said.

Davao city mayor Rodrigo Duterte,during his meeting with the investors, assured the latter that the city has a business-friendly environment where they could expect fast processing of business permit applications.

"We hope to see the start of this investment as soon as possible," Duterte said.

The investors expect a lot of products from Davao that may be exported to Sabah the same way that the latter has also plenty of consumer goods that may be exported to Davao.

Ismail is interested of investing on petroleum products while Mohammad is eyeing the real estate sector.

Meanwhile, MB Sophia is expected to open trading for consumer goods like rice, sugar, cooking oil, noodles, etc.

"We see a very huge market here in Davao plus the fact that security wise, the city is definitely safe for foreign investors," said Ismail.

The vessel opens trading as well as tourism opportunities for both countries. MB Sophia, bigger in size than Super Ferry, can accommodate more than 700 passengers. It allows fast travel from Davao to Sandakan in only 25 hours.

Both investors are currently negotiating with local businessmen potential to do trading with them. (PIA XI) [top]

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