Davao City – Effects of the global economic crisis can be seen from figures taken from the first quarter of the year but Davao businessmen continue to be upbeat about the region’s investment climate.
Simeon Marfori, President of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industries Inc.(DCCII), said that people are still optimistic that things will turn around despite the country registering a paltry 0.4 percent increase in the gross domestic product (GDP).
“We’re still moving.” Marfori said during a media forum held last Wednesday at the Marco Polo Hotel Davao, saying he believed that the region’s agriculture-based industries are cushioning the impact of the crisis, since food are indispensable commodities.
He said that regional figures are still hopeful despite the downturn. The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) GDP growth target for Region XI is pegged at 4.9 to 5.9 percent for 2009. With agriculture, tourism and mining as the driving force of the regional economy, it is projected that the regional GDP growth rate will breach the 5% mark.
Marfori said that they are expecting growth in the housing and real estate sectors. He also said there are investors who are eyeing large commercial developments. He cited the investments along Davao City’s J.P. Laurel Avenue where investors are just waiting for the opening of Abreeza, Ayala Land’s P4-billion retail and IT complex.
Another expected engine for regional growth is tourism. According to Giovanni Aportadera, City Tourism Operations Officer, Davao is the country’s third top tourist destination next to Cebu and Boracay. In the first quarter of 2009, the Department of Tourism has recorded about 156,468 arrivals taken from January to March figures. (PIA XI)
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