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Mindanao local investments upbeat in 2010

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DAVAO CITY - Investment generation was on a high gear last year as the Board of Investments noted here recently a remarkable growth in local investments, indicating a more sustained and buoyant investment mood in the island-region.

According to data of the Mindanao Development Authority, Mindanao cornered a total of 28 BOI-registered investment projects valued at P11.148 billion last year, propelled mainly by local investments.

Local investment performance jumped sharply at 143% growth in the previous year, which translates to a total value of Php 11.088 billion, compared to last year's P4.565 million. The investment projects generated a total of 2,703 jobs.

Mindanao's top five investments last year were power generation, real estate developments, steel-bar manufacturing, nickel ore mining, and construction of tourism-related facilities.

Power generation sector, with an equity share of 4.099 billion, was dominated by the Mindanao Energy systems, which is based in Misamis Oriental. Moreover, Therma Marine, a subsidiary of the Aboitiz Group also installed 100 MW oil-fired power barges in Agusan del Norte and Davao del Norte.

Further, only the Harbour Industrial Development Corporation comprised the steel bar manufacturing industry last year, but their sole investment is estimated to be worth Php 1.947 billion, based in Panabo city.

Some other local investments that came in last year include Pueblo de Oro Development Corporation, Mountain Haven Development Inc., Commercial Lending House, Inc., Hemeni Land Corporation, Century Peak Corp., Marcventures Mining and Development Corp., and Shuley Mine Inc.

In terms of foreign direct investments, a total of P60.323 million was generated for Mindanao and 53% of this amount was from CostaMex Inc., a Costa Rican-owned company operating in Dancagan, Bukidnon.

Foreign investment has been on decline over the past three years while local investments regained momentum last year through the high-stake investments in various industries.

However, it is expected that the investments sector of Mindanao will remain favorable this year, along with the improved business confidence index of the country.

Data from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas posted a 50.6% business confidence index for 2011, which means that businessmen are now more confident with the nation's capability to cope with the global financial crisis.

Moreover, business process outsourcing is also seen as another potential investment for Mindanao as software development companies, call centers, and other IT businesses are eyeing areas outside Metro Manila, in order to take advantage of cheaper labor costs and the dense populace of other islands,such as Mindanao.

"Attractive investment incentives are in place, and industrial zones have been established to widen location options for investors," said MinDA Chair Luwalhati Antonino.

As of this year, HEDCOR has already expressed their intent to invest roughly P8-billion worth of power plants in Compostella Valley, Davao Oriental, and Davao City. (PIA-11/BST)




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