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Taiwanese investors remain bullish on Philippine business and investment opportunities particularly in the Mindanao region as representatives from the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) were recently in the country for a Business Opportunity Research Study Mission.

The Philippine BOI Extension Office in Davao, with Mindanao Development Authority (MINDA), Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry, Local Economic and Investments Promotion Officers of Davao Region met with the TAIRA representatives led by its Manager Dr. Albert Fan on January 19, 2018.

Dr. Fan informed the Davao stakeholders that TAITRA is looking for business partners in agriculture and aquaculture, two of Taiwan’s key sectors.

Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Ceferino Rodolfo said the shared optimism and confidence of Taiwanese investors in making their businesses grow in the Philippines particularly in Mindanao is a pronounced manifestation of the country’s inherent and competitive advantages.

He said that this positive development is a testament to the country’s sound economic fundamentals and sustained investor confidence that bodes well with the BOI’s thrust to further strengthen the country’s position as a preferred global investment destination.

Undersecretary Rodolfo also said that investment prospects in Mindanao remain rosy given the Php29.35 Billion significant investment projects registered with the BOI from January to December 2017. Of this investment value, Php15.25 Billion were from Region 12 (SOCCSKSARGEN), Php7.23 Billion from Region 10 (Northern Mindanao), Php5.43 Billion from Region 11 (Davao Region), and Php1.44 Billion from Region 13 (CARAGA).

The visit was in preparation for a planned Taiwan Trade Mission to Davao on March 2018 where TAITRA targets to bring in around 20 to 25 Taiwanese companies in the production and marketing of food processing and packaging machineries, green industry products and medical devices industries.

Aside from the trade mission, TAITRA and the Taiwanese Investors also plan to hold a Trade Exposition to showcase Taiwan’s State-of-the-Art agricultural equipment in Davao City tentatively scheduled for September 2018.

TAITRA is also interested in showcasing Taiwan’s premier, international and professional business-to-business (B2B) trading platform which focuses on the State-of-the-Art technologies for the field of agriculture in Asia.

TAITRA is Taiwan's foremost nonprofit trade promotion organization. The council is sponsored by the government and industry organizations, providing business consultation service and connect international firms with Taiwanese partners.♦

The Department of Trade and Industry 11 (DTI-11) will intensify its Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) survey in 2018 as part of the Regional Competitiveness Committee (RCC), which implements interventions that will produce a more sound survey result.

The index is an annual ranking of the Philippine cities and municipalities developed by the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) with the assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

“DTI 11 will strengthen its efforts to support LGUs, through inter-agency collaboration, roadshows and exit conferences. This will not only intensify data generation, but also make its validation more efficient,” DTI 11 Regional Director Maria Belenda Ambi said.

The CMCI is designed to capture four key competitiveness pillars, namely, government efficiency, economic dynamism, infrastructure, and resiliency. These pillars are aligned with the competitiveness indicators used by IMD Competitive Survey, International Finance Corporation (IFC) Doing Business Survey, and the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index.

Recently, the RCC 11 concluded its 2017 CMCI Survey participated by all local government units (LGUs) in the region.

In 2013, seven cities and 10 municipalities of the 49 LGUs here were selected to participate in the CMCI rankings. Due to the project’s expansion, 49 LGUs or 100 percent have already participated in the said rankings since 2015.

As LGUs in the region have been gaining multiple recognitions and awards in the national competitiveness rankings, the agency has already made plans on elevating next year’s round of CMCI Survey.

In 2017, RCC 11 pushed for the improvement of data collection and generation.

In partnership with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) 11, provincial CMCI roadshows were conducted with one of its objectives is to encourage LGUs to organize a Technical Working Group (TWG) that would facilitate the generation of CMCI data. Exit conferences were also piloted in Davao City, Malita (Davao Occidental), and Compostela Valley.

In December 2017, LGUs that scored high in the 2017 survey were awarded and recognized during the 1st Regional Competitiveness Awards organized by DTI 11 as chair of RCC 11.

The awardees, based on the four competitiveness pillars, are as follows:

1. Most Improved LGU
a. Most Improved 3rd to 6th Class Municipality in Davao Region
Tarragona, Davao Oriental

b. Most Improved 1st to 2nd Class Municipality in Davao Region
Kapalong, Davao del Norte

c. Most Improved Component City in Davao Region
Panabo, Davao del Norte

2. Economic Dynamism
a. Top Performing 3rd to 6th Class Municipality under the Economic Dynamism Pillar in Davao Region
Sulop, Davao del Sur

b. Top Performing 1st to 2nd Class Municipality under the Economic Dynamism Pillar in Davao Region
Bansalan, Davao del Sur

c. Top Performing Component City under the Economic Dynamism Pillar in Davao Region
Tagum City, Davao del Norte

3. Government Efficiency
a. Top Performing 3rd to 6th Class Municipality under the Government Efficiency Pillar in Davao Region
Braulio E. Dujali, Davao del Norte

b. Top Performing 1st to 2nd Class Municipality under the Government Efficiency Pillar in Davao Region
New Corella, Davao del Norte

c. Top Performing Component City under the Government Efficiency Pillar in Davao Region
Tagum City, Davao del Norte

4. Infrastructure
a. Top Performing 3rd to 6th Class Municipality under the Infrastructure Pillar in Davao Region
Sulop, Davao del Sur

b. Top Performing 1st to 2nd Class Municipality under the Infrastructure Pillar in Davao Region
Compostela, Compostela Valley

c. Top Performing Component City under the Infrastructure Pillar in Davao Region
Tagum City, Davao del Norte

5. Resiliency
a. Top Performing 3rd to 6th Class Municipality under the Resiliency Pillar in Davao Region
Sulop, Davao del Sur

b. Top Performing 1st to 2nd Class Municipality under the Resiliency Pillar in Davao Region
Compostela, Compostela Valley

c. Top Performing Component City under the Resiliency Pillar in Davao Region
Tagum City, Davao del Norte

6. 3rd to 6th Class Municipality
a. Overall 3rd Most Competitive 3rd to 6th Class Municipality
Braulio E. Dujali, Davao del Norte

b. Overall 2nd Most Competitive 3rd to 6th Class Municipality in Davao Region
San Isidro, Davao Oriental

c. Overall Most Competitive 3rd to 6th Class Municipality in Davao Region
Sulop, Davao del Sur

7. 1st to 2nd Class Municipality
a. Overall 3rd Most Competitive 1st to 2nd Class Municipality in Davao Region
Kapalong, Davao del Norte

b. Overall 2nd Most Competitive 1st to 2nd Class Municipality in Davao Region
Nabunturan, Compostela Valley

c. Overall Most Competitive 1st to 2nd Class Municipality in Davao Region
Compostela, Compostela Valley

8. Component Cities
a. Overall 3rd Most Competitive Component City in Davao Region
Digos, Davao del Sur

b. Overall 2nd Most Competitive Component City in Davao Region
Panabo, Davao del Norte

c. Overall Most Competitive Component City in Davao Region
Tagum, Davao del Norte


9. Most Competitive Province in Davao Region
a. 3rd Place
PROVINCE OF DAVAO DEL SUR

b. 2nd Place
PROVINCE OF DAVAO ORIENTAL

c. 1st Place
PROVINCE OF DAVAO DEL NORTE

10. Highly Urbanized Cities
a. 3rd Overall Most Competitive Highly Urbanized City in the Philippines
Davao City

Regional Development Council (RDC) 11 chairperson Gov. Anthony G. Del Rosario, meanwhile, extended his congratulations and support to the said project.

“Local competitiveness is the building blocks of national competitiveness. Working alone is insufficient but working together is essential in leading us to a more competitive nation,” Del Rosario pointed out.♦

Two graduates of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) program have shared their success following the interventions under this initiative. 
 
Kristine Mae Flores of   Khit’s Homemade Products and Sofia Tricia Zosa of Sofia’s Home Baked Goodies are currently doing good in marketing their products since their graduation from KMME last December 5, 2016. They are among the 232 KMME graduates, as of December 2017.
 
The meat processor started her business on July 07, 2014. She narrated that the trainings and seminars she availed of from DTI and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) have helped her improve her pork longganisa, pork tocino, pork embutido, chicken longganisa, chicken tocino, chickenembutido. Some of them also gave a boost to her skills in running her business.
From then on, I applied all the learning in running my business. By doing so, I have really felt the difference,” Flores said
She further noted that she has been able to slowly build the confidence needed in marketing her products. Her network of potential customers has also increased because her co-participants in the KMME program have become her customers as well. Only after five months since graduation, she added new products - chicken and pork tocino.
 
She said the Mentor ME program of DTI was very timely and a blessing for her. 
 
I am indeed so lucky to be one of the mentees of the pioneering batch of 2016, which nurtured me with the right mindset and the business skills to help me manage my business well,” she said.
 
For her, the program is like a short course on entrepreneurship,yet a very comprehensive one. Particularly, she learned the technical definitions, concepts and principles about running a business through lectures by experts and successful entrepreneurs.
 
Meanwhile, the Business Improvement Plan (BIP) presentation,as requirement for graduation, has given her a clear picture of her target market.  She is about to celebrate her fourthanniversary in the business with new markets and an increase of 75 percent in her production.
 
would like to emphasize among the young aspiring entrepreneurs that as long as you have dreams and you believe that they will happen, in God’s grace, they will surely happen at the right time. Dream big and aim high!” she said. 
 
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On the other hand, Zosa started her online business at the age of 16. She described it as accidental since it began when an “online friend” asked her to deliver 100 pieces of cupcakes.
 
“It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, actually,” she said.
 
She became the fresh trainer for DTI-Davao Region’s kakanin and pastry classes. On the onset of her participation to the KMME program, she opened her first café in Davao, applying all the learning from Mentor ME. After the graduation, she was able to supply to one of her mentors, Mary Ann M.Monrtemayor’s Habi at Kape snack bar at Abreeza Mall and Villa Margarita Hotel
 
For her, Mentor ME is like a modern bayanihan, a helping hand and a great support system for fresh entrepreneurs. Just like her favourite quotation that says Continue to soar high and be an inspiration to the new mentees, Zosa is determined to make things bigger for her.
 
Flores and Zosa are just barely a year out of their KMMEgraduationhowever, they have already levelled up in theirbusinessesas proved by the new markets they have developedan expansion of their facilities. ♦

The Board of Investments Extension Office (BEO) Davao recently gave a green light to Pistacia Mindanao Coffee Export, Inc. (PMCEI)'s Php1 Million coffee growing project, its first Micro and Small Enterprise (MSE) project approval under the Export Activities of the 2017 Investments Priorities Plan (IPP).

The project involves the production and manufacture of fermented coffee and cacao beans with a capacity of 2,250kg a year and 750kg a year, and will be 100 percent exported to Japan.

The firm will engage in the development of coffee growers and provide technical assistance in terms of growing, sorting and harvesting of coffee.

PMCEI specializes in producing high-quality agricultural crops especially fermented coffee and cacao beans sourced from smallholder farmers. It would provide end-to-end support to smallholder farmers with access to technology and market. Through this innovative business, it will increase and sustain farmers’ yields, income and eventually improve quality of life.

The project will be located in Brgy. Managa, Bansalan, Davao del Sur. Commercial operation is scheduled to begin this month. PMCEI is 80 percent Japanese owned corporation. ♦

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Davao Region takes pride in the 232 graduates it has produced under its Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) program which started last October 7, 2016.

The agency revealed that the initiative which deems to develop more successful micro entrepreneurs was able to record 20 graduates in 2016 and 212 this year.

For 2016, all 20 MSMEs who graduated were from Davao City. Meanwhile, for 2017, 42 were from Davao City, 44 from Davao del Sur, 19 from Davao Occidental, 40 from Davao del Norte, 20 from Compostela Valley and 47 from Davao Oriental.

The 10-week program of the KMME had weekly modules on marketing, financial management, human resource management, and operations management, among others. These graduates were provided with high calibre mentors who shared their time, knowledge, skills, expertise and tips. On the 10th week, the mentees presented their Business Improvement Plan (BIP), incorporating the learning from the lectures and mentoring sessions in front of a panel composed of marketing/operations management mentors and micro financing institution (MFI) representatives who can possibly assist them on their financing needs.

DTI and the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE) – Go Negosyo conceptualized the KMME program to serve as the entrepreneurs’ guide to become a globally competitive enterprise, this being one of the strategies of the government to provide jobs to Filipinos and boost economic growth focusing on the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as they soar to greater heights.

DTI-Davao Regional Director Maria Belenda Q. Ambi, during her inspirational talk in Mati City recently during the KMME graduation in the province, expressed her appreciation for the mentees who religiously attended the 10-week program.

“This only shows that MSMEs nowadays are inspired to improve their productivity, be involved in value-adding activities and be of help to other people by creating job opportunities and become engine of growth,” Ambi said.

For 2018, DTI, through its field offices in the five provinces and one chartered city in Davao Region, will still be conducting the KMME. Thus, MSMEs who are interested to avail of the mentoring sessions may contact DTI-Provincial Office nearest them.♦

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