The Board of Investments (BOI), the industry development and investments promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), is urging the agribusiness sector in Cagayan Valley Region to craft its own roadmap to serve as a guideline to support and cultivate dominant crops in the region.
In a statement, Trade Assistant Secretary Rafaelita Aldaba strongly encouraged industry stakeholders to create their own regional roadmap that will be a basis for development of agribusiness in the region—listing the current situation, issues that needs to be addressed, steps that need to be taken, and future targets.
“Now that we have the Industry Roadmapping Program in place, we must seize opportunities with government facilitating in coordination with industry stakeholders to enable the region to craft its own industry roadmaps. These industry roadmaps will allow MSMEs [micro, small and medium enterprises] to move up the value chain and actively participate in the vast AEC [Asean Economic Community] market,” Aldaba said during a BOI-arranged conference in Cagayan Valley on Thursday, citing that this is a part of the BOI’s program in localizing roadmaps to support regional and provincial industries and products.
The dominant products in Cagayan Valley region that need to be covered by the proposed roadmap are processed fruits, coffee, furniture, processed cacao, and processed meat.
Aldaba cited the achievement of the Davao Region, which already crafted and launched its preliminary regional roadmap, while the Calabarzon and Central Luzon regions are about to prepare their regional roadmaps with the assistance of their respective Regional Development Councils and experts from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The BOI-arranged conference gathered over 300 attendees from Cagayan Valley’s industry players, business sectors, local government units and agencies, and concerned stakeholders to discuss how they can craft the region’s localized roadmap to achieve further growth and competitiveness.
The BOI, together with the DTI regional offices, held nine regional conferences last year to push localization of roadmaps in Iloilo, Cebu, Davao, Baguio, Tagaytay, Pampanga, Zamboanga, Palawan and Naga. Early this year, a regional conference for the Ilocos Region was held in La Union and two more, apart from the Tugegarao leg, will be conducted in Butuan and Leyte this year.
“This conference is a perfect venue for us to work together to address the challenges and opportunities our own industry clusters face. The alignment of regional industry roadmaps and national strategies will allow us to take advantage of the country’s expanded market access, to attract investments in our region and to grow our MSMEs to make quality of products and services at par with Asean standards,” said Ma. Esperanza Banares, DTI Regional Director for Cagayan Valley.
“Local industry roadmaps will define our vision, goals, and targets initially for processed fruits, coffee, furniture, processed cacao, and processed meat. We have a lot of work ahead of us as we identify binding constraints to growth and recommend strategies for industry upgrading and development,” she added.
The Industry Roadmapping Program is the BOI’s program in partnership with various industries and sectors for the development and implementation of industry roadmaps. To date, there are already 40 sectoral roadmaps submitted to the BOI, 32 of which are already completed and are currently being implemented, while the rest are still subject to enhancement or finalization.