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The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Davao Region continues to upgrade and strengthen its investment promotion initiatives, including the improvement of investment facilitation.
 
To further improve the investment promotion officers of DTI and their counterparts at the local government units (LGUs), the agency conducted the first-ever Business and Local Investment Networking Knowledge (BLINK) Capability Building Workshop recently in Davao City.
 
At least 55 DTI investment promotion officers and local economic and investment promotion officers (LEIPOs) from all over the region participated in the two-day workshop that aimed to capacitate them in handling investment-related concerns.
 
The BLINK workshop discussed the 2017 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) and investment incentives of the Board of Investments (BOI), Local Investments and Incentives Code (LIIC), Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) incentives, Foreign Investments Act and updates on the Foreign Negative List, among others.
 
“This activity has been conceived by the DTI since we saw the need to capacitate those handling investments in their locality to ensure smooth processing of investment requirements for local and foreign investors. This is also in anticipation of the influx of investors in the coming years,” DTI-Davao Regional Director Maria Belenda Q. Ambi said.
 
As of the first quarter of 2018, BOI-Davao has recorded a total of Php14.14B worth of registered and approved projects for Davao Region, mostly belonging to the real estate and agribusiness industries. This is relatively higher than the Php2.44B amount of investments recorded around the same time last year. For 2017, the value of investments poured into the region amounted to Php7.98B.
 
Aside from the lecture series, workshops were also undertaken wherein the participants were divided per province/city and were made to design investment promotion packages and convince potential investors in a simulation activity.
 
“The DTI will continuously strive to provide the necessary assistance to the IPOs and the LEIPOs in terms of improving and upgrading the way they handle investments to create a ripple effect in the overall investments performance of the region,” Ambi added.
 
The BLINK Capability Building Workshop for Investment Promotion Officers is the first activity of its kind for the region. DTI-Davao Region intends to have a second round of the activity that integrates other investment topics that were not discussed in the recently concluded workshop.♦
THE Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Board, composed of nine government agencies led by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), is set to unveil the comprehensive Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Strategic Road Map as it holds the first-ever Philippine National Halal Conference on May 2 and 3 in Davao City with the theme “Towards Making the Philippines a Respectable Player in the Global Halal Ecosystem.”
 
The strategic road map includes the launch of the approved Philippine National Halal Certification Scheme and the Accreditation Guidelines, two of the most important components of the PH strategic roadmap for the Philippines to be recognized as a major player in the global halal ecosystem.
 
The conference will also gather some of the major Halal global players to share their experiences and best practices in establishing a respectable and sustainable Halal ecosystem in their respective countries through lecture sessions.
 
Also happening during the conference is the Assembly of the Philippine Muslim Religious Scholars, where information sessions and lectures on development of the Philippine halal export industry in line with the aspect of the Sharia or Islamic law will be conducted.
 
According to DTI-EMB, as the Philippines opens its door for the global Halal market, it also widens its horizon as it pursues cooperation from the global halal community.
 
During the sixth Halal Export Board meeting held on March 21 this year, the Board emphasized the need for the Philippine standard-setting bodies, such as the DTI, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health to develop the necessary standards for Philippine Halal to be recognized in the global halal ecosystem.
 
“With the first Philippine National Halal Conference, we are eyeing heightened collaboration among key stakeholders and institutions that will work together in the promotion and development of the Philippine Halal exports sector,” said DTI Trade and Investments Promotion Group Assistant Secretary Abdulgani Macatoman.
 
In April last year, the Philippines, represented by DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, and Brunei Darussalam, represented by Pehin Dato Dr.  Mohammad Yasmin Umar, the minister of Energy and Industry at the Prime Minister’s Office, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the Halal Industry and Halal Export Development and Promotion.
 
The Philippines also signed a membership with the International Halal Accreditation Forum in December 2017. IHAF is an independent, non-government network of accreditation entities that are mandated to enforce halal standards in their countries and territories. The Philippine affiliation to IHAF is expected to pave the way for the entry and acceptance of Philippine halal-certified products to the member markets of the organization.
 
A similar instrument was forged between the Philippine Accreditation Bureau of the DTI and the United Arab Emirates Standardization and Metrology Authority of the UAE government on mutual recognition for Halal accreditation last February 2018 in Dubai.
 
Over 350 participants composed of Philippine micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) with halal-certified products and services, including travel and tourism services sector; representative from government agencies; Philippine halal certification bodies; academe; Muslim and interested non-Muslim consumers; Muslim religious groups; concerned civil society groups; international major halal players; and other stakeholders are expected to attend the event.
The Department of Trade and Industry in Davao Region celebrates the feat of Compostela Valley-based entrepreneur and fashion designer, Cheri-Lou Aranjuez, for making it to the London Fashion Week last February 17.
 
Aranjuez, a DTI-assisted entrepreneur, showcased a 10-piece collection in the afternoon show of the renowned global fashion outfit, House of Ikons, during the recently concluded London-based fashion festival. Aranjuez was among the 17 designers and brands from all over the world chosen by the House of Ikons to grace their afternoon and evening shows.
 
“I auditioned and submitted my portfolio to the House of Ikons. In October 2017, I got a call from them telling me that I am qualified to showcase in February,” Aranjuez shared.
 
The House of Ikons, which was founded by Savita Kaye, aims to celebrate new generation of global fashion talent and provide an international platform for emerging designers like Aranjuez.
 
Talking about her design, Aranjuez said, “The inspiration of my pieces is the art of versatility. The collection can be manipulated to different styles and that’s my aesthetic to it.”
 
“I’m very inspired with women on-the-go, women who handle their business, career and family altogether. Sometimes, they forget they have their ‘own’ self to handle, too,” she added.
 
She further narrated that the materials used for her collection were sensitively picked. These materials included the handwoven fabric from Davao del Sur. Right after the show, all her 10-piece collection were sold.
 
With this milestone, DTI Davao Region hailed Aranjuez for being a testament that local MSMEs can truly be world-class.
 
"Compostela Valley is very proud of the achievements of Aranjuez, and we, in DTI Compostela Valley, are happy to have assisted Cheri in any way possible. We hope her success would inspire other MSMEs to keep honing their craft and be globally-competitive,” DTI ComVal provincial director Lucky Siegfred M. Balleque said.
 
Aranjuez was part of DTI ComVal’s pioneering batch for its Kapatid Mentor Me program, a 12-week coaching and mentoring program that mentors business owners and practitioners on different functional areas of entrepreneurship to assist MSMEs scale up and sustain their businesses.
 
Aranjuez was also one of the 27 brands launched by DTI Davao Region last December 2017 under its Brand Equity Development Program. It is among the newest interventions of the agency geared towards developing new and highly potential Davao Region homegrown brands.♦

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Davao Region recently conducted provincial roadshows in its bid to help local government units (LGUs) improve their competitiveness to secure more investments.

During the provincial roadshows, the agency, particularly its Regional Industry Development Division, discussed the compliance rating of every LGU in adopting the 2016 Business Permit and Licensing System (BPLS) standards as well as their overall competitiveness performance in the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) rankings with the implementation of competitiveness enhancement support programs being delivered by DTI 11.

The roadshows, which were conducted in Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley, and Davao Occidental, were participated by the provinces’ respective local chief executives (LCEs), business permit and licensing officers (BPLOs), local economic and investment promotion officers (LEIPOs), city/municipality treasurer officers (C/MTOs), city/municipal local government operations officers (C/MLGOOs), and other local officials involved in the whole business registration process. Representatives from private sector likewise attended.

Apart from the provincial roadshows, a regional activity was also done in collaboration with the Regional Competitiveness Committee (RCC) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) at the Pinnacle Hotel and Suites in Davao City to further strengthen the drive to produce more competitive LGUs.

The one-day activity presented the updates on the CMCI project, in which several revisions of its sub-indicators will be made this year. The said indicators, will still, however, capture its four key pillars, namely, government efficiency, infrastructure, economic dynamism, and resiliency.

Moreover, the revision aims to further align the CMCI with the Global Competitiveness Index Report by the World Economic Forum (WEF), which recently reported, Philippines ranking 56th (2017) from 85th (2010) out of 139 economies.

DTI 11 Regional Director Maria Belenda Q. Ambi explained that in the BPLS streamlining project, the LGUs’ reform implementation were assessed through the conduct of field monitoring and evaluation survey, targeting business owners who applied or renewed their business permits as respondents.

The 2017 survey results showed that the region is 96.7 percent compliant for new applications, and 94.8 percent for renewal. This is in terms of issuing the business permits within one to two days upon receipt of the application form with the pre-required documents.
On the other hand, 71.5 percent of the LGUs are compliant in delivering the business registration process within three steps for the new applications, and 70.6 percent for the renewal applications. However, some LGUs (28.5 percent for new applications and 29.4 percent for renewal) were reported to be delivering the said service within four steps.

Ambi noted that improvements due to the implementation of these competitiveness-related reforms have positively affected the country’s global standing.

In the Doing Business Report by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Philippines ranked 113th out of 190 economies in 2018, which rose 35 notches from 148th in 2010. This report captures important dimensions of the regulatory environment, such as, starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency.

With the support of the private sector, partner agencies, and initiatives by the LGUs themselves, DTI 11 aims to deliver its full support to the promotion and development of national competitiveness.

“There is indeed an upward trend as we look back into our performance in the ease of doing business, as well as, competitiveness, however, reaching the higher ranks would require intense public and private collaboration, for while we are doing our best to improve, other LGUs are also doing the same,” Ambi said.♦

Date of release: 12 April 2018

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.♦

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