By Alexander Villafania
COTABATO CITY, COTABATO – The Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) recently signed a partnership that would boost trade and investments in the region.
Both agencies announced the partnership during the recently held 1st ARMM Economic Summit.
The goal is to put up an office that would serve as facilitator for prospective investors into the region. One major area for potential investments is small-to-medium scale agriculture and industrial enterprises.
Already, the ARMM office of the Board of Investments (BOI) and MinDA are setting the entry of two companies focused on building a major banana plantation in the region. The combined investments of both companies is said to be around P1.5 billion.
ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman said the partnership between ARMM and MinDA is part of the region’s thrust of reforming bureaucracy, upholding peace and security, and improving their economic status.
Citing a study commissioned by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), Hataman noted that ARMM provide good climate conditions for agriculture. Among the extensively farmed products in the region are white corn, coffee, and cassava.
ARMM’s labor cost is also comparatively lower than those from other regions, which could offer investors a relatively less costly entry to building their facilities.
Hataman emphasized on his goals of making ARMM’s governance transparent and he is also calling for the private sector to be involved in its goals. He also called on the populace of ARMM to be part of the development of the region.
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