BOI conducts industry roadmaps and investments roadshow in Bicol region, Discussions to center on thriving industries, economic opportunities for MSMEs

The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI), the industry development and investment promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), is now (November 12 and 13, 2015) conducting back-to-back discussions on industry roadmaps and investment priorities in Naga City. The discussions will center on the thriving industries, economic opportunities for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) yet to be explored in the region with the objective of coming up with a collective vision among the participants that will serve as guide for stakeholders to further develop and be more globally competitive with the upcoming ASEAN integration.

Dubbed as “Industry Roadmaps and the AEC Game Plan: Roadmap Localization for Competitiveness” and “Domestic Investment Roadshow: Presentation of the 2014-2016 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP)”, the conferences are being held at the Villa Caceres Hotel, Naga City, Camarines Sur.

The industry roadmaps forum yesterday centered discussions on the potentials and challenges in the region including updates on the state of the coco coir, metalcasting, iron and steel, and healthcare services—the dominant industries thriving in the Bicol region. From the discussions, the local industry players would be guided on how to eventually become major participants in the dynamic world market in anticipation of the upcoming full integration of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

The forum also highlighted the collaboration of various agencies to support micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to sustain economic growth of the country.

“With the AEC and our strengthened positioning in Europe, both public and private sectors working together will enable our MSMEs to participate in the global value chain, generate quality jobs, and ensure growth particularly in the regions,” DTI Assistant Secretary Rafaelita Aldaba said who talked about “The Philippine Policy for a More Competitive Regional Economies” in the industry roadmaps forum.

The AEC aims to establish and converge by December 31, 2015 a single market and production base with free movement of goods, services and investments across the ten ASEAN member countries. Furthermore, they envisage tohave a highly competitive economic region, a region of equitable economic development, and a region fully integrated into the global economy.

The IPP roadshow meanwhile, which is happening today, aims to inform the participants on the salient features of the 2014-2016 IPP, its implementing guidelines, and the investment opportunities for potential and existing investors in the Bicol region.

“There are many investment opportunities that are yet to be explored in the region. By stirring the direction and providing the appropriate and sufficient support and policy interventions, major economic sectors in the region are going to realize their potentials to ignite local development and growth,” said BOI Executive Director Efren Leaño, who will present the 2014-2016 IPP in the forum.

Bicol region’s economy is basically agricultural with nearly 40% of its workforce dependent on the sector’s major crops such as coconut, palay, cassava, corn, abaca and coconut. They have also significant deposits of gold, silver, lead, zinc, iron, nickel, chromite, copper and manganese. Reports of the Philippines Statistics Authority in 2014 showed the region posting a 4.2 percent gross regional domestic product. Data from the said agency further revealed that in January 2015 the gross value added of the regional production units in terms of employment generation is 93.7 percent.

The IPP is the fundamental investment policy tool for industry development. The IPP’s objective is to build industries through policy interventions and initiatives.  The preferred economic activities include manufacturing, agribusiness and fishery, services, economic and low-cost housing, hospitals, energy, public infrastructure and logistics, and PPP Projects.

The back-to-back conferences are organized by BOI in coordination with the DTI Regional Office in Bicol.  BOI has been conducting localization of the industry roadmaps and the IPP roadshows nationwide to further engage stakeholders’ participation in the many economic opportunities in the country.  As of October 2015, BOI has conducted two back-to-back localization and roadshow activities in the Cordillera Autonomous Region-Baguio City and Region IV-B – Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.  (END)