Cagayan de Oro to host 19th Mindanao business conference
Cagayan De Oro (16 March) -- The lead-up to the 19th Mindanao Business Conference has kicked off in this city, the economic hub of northern Mindanao.
"It promises to be an exciting event, focusing on energy, shipping, agribusiness, mariculture and other key industries," said Ralph Paguio, president of the event's host organization, the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc.
The "MinBizCon" is the premier venue for presenting Mindanao's investment opportunities, as well as for linking its business community with investors and buyers, sharing best practices in economic development, and fostering a more competitive business environment.
The conference, held in a different city each year, is being organized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), with support from the Cagayan de Oro City government, USAID's Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program, the Mindanao Development Authority, and other partners.
This year's MinBizCon will run from September 17 to 18 at the Atrium in Limketkai Center, Cagayan de Oro City. This year's theme is: "One. Global. Mindanao. Maximizing Potentials."
"We are happy to bring the MinBizCon back to Cagayan de Oro after several years," said PCCI chairman Sergio Ortiz-Luis, Jr. "We have seen a lot of development in this area, and it's fitting to hold the conference here to showcase its business opportunities."
"There will be plenary sessions championing Mindanao's winners. In these sessions we will be highlighting the key products, or ?product champions' of each Mindanao sub-region, which is a new element in the event format," said Paguio.
He added that the Oro Chamber, in partnership with the U.S Commercial Service, will hold its annual OroBest trade show simultaneously with the conference.
A Mindanao Investment Forum will be held in Makati City in July, as an auxiliary event, Paguio said.
Over the coming months the organizers, headed by conference chairman Ruben Vegafria, will follow up previous policy recommendations for improving the competitiveness of the business environment, even as they consult the private sector on more recent issues and challenges.
"The business community annually presents its recommendations to government at the MinBizCon, in the form of the Mindanao Policy Agenda," said Edwin Capili, PCCI vice president for Mindanao.
"This year, a month before the conference, we will be holding high-level roundtables with the different government departments to review what's been done so far to address these recommendations," Capili added.
"The conference would be an opportune venue for the country's next president to present the new administration's agenda for Mindanao," Paguio said. "We are very interested to hear the government's plans both for energy security and peace and order."
The Mindanao Business Conference is the largest of the five area conferences organized by PCCI. The others are held in North Luzon, South Luzon, the National Capital Region and the Visayas, leading up to the largest business sector gathering at the national level, the annual Philippine Business Conference.
Cagayan de Oro is considered one of the country's most progressive and dynamic cities. It serves as a base for various multinational companies, many of which are engaged in agro-industry and business process outsourcing. (GEM) [top]