The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao-Regional Board of Investments (ARMM-RBOI) announced that the region got P1.4-billion worth of investments last year, which is a 157-percent increase compared to 2012’s P569 million. In 2011, investment in the region reached P1.6 billion.
The RBOI-ARMM registered four new businesses last year with mineral development being the biggest contributor to the remarkable growth.
A Tawi-Tawi-based company, Al-Tawitawi Nickel Corp., invested more than P700 million for a mineral development project in Tawi-Tawi, while a P365-million real estate investment was registered by the Bumbaran Development Corp. Other major investments recorded include the expansion of a banana plantation, and the establishment of an oil depot.
The ARMM regional government has been offering both fiscal and nonfiscal incentives for new investments to attract more business ventures into the region.
Ishak Mastura, chairman of RBOI-ARMM, said that the strong support of the local government units, reinforced by the ARMM regional government, ensured investors “that doing business in ARMM is easy, safe and profitable.”
“It’s worth noting that the more than P1-billion worth of investments recorded last year generated 1,743 jobs for the people of ARMM,” he added.
“We attribute this significant increase in investments to the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front,” said Mastura.
He added that the agreement boosted confidence among investors in doing business in the region, because of the promise of peace and stability.
“Governance reforms in ARMM has not only contributed to the overall peace and security situation in the region, but has also increased investor confidence as shown by this positive development,” said Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Chairman Luwalhati Antonino.
Antonino expressed optimism that ARMM will continue experiencing massive investment growth, once the remaining infrastructure projects in the region are in place. ARMM received P8.59-billion funding under the Transition Investment Support Plan of the national government, and P2.8 billion of the amount was allocated for infrastructure projects.
To further boost investments and economic growth in the island-region, a spatial development framework called the Mindanao Development Corridors is being carried out by MinDA, where one of the strategies is to achieve connectivity through the development of intermodal transport systems and the strengthening of logistics to support growing industries.
“A well-placed connectivity infrastructure will allow ARMM’s top exports sourced mainly from rural areas to expediently reach urban centers for processing and marketing, and arrive at our export gateways faster and in better shape,” Antonino said.
The development corridors will bank on the strengths of Mindanao’s key regions, with Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi forming part of the mariculture and trade corridor.
MinDA, along with Board of Investments, the Department of Trade and Industry and RBOI-ARMM have also been closely working together to expand investment opportunities in Mindanao.