An official of Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII) on Tuesday told reporters that a company based in Guangdong, China is eyeing Davao City as the possible location of its new manufacturing plant.
“Because in China at this time there is a scarcity of labor and if there is available labor it is too expensive already. China is really getting to be because of the level of affluence that it is now gainingmahalnaang labor there. That is why they are looking at the Philippines particularly Davao. They came and they wanted to explore and see the potential of putting up a manufacturing facility in Davao City,” Arturo Milan, DCCCII president said.
Milan refused to give details of the name of the company. He said the investors cited power, availability of labor and English-speaking Davaoenos but, lamented the lack of an industrial park or economic zone.
“Being a foreign-owned company they are looking for an industrial estate that they can just locate themselves and maintain a 100 percent foreign ownership because if you just lease properties here you need to get a local counterpart who can be the 40 percent and 60 percent or the 60 percent and 40 percent foreign,” Milan said.
Milan said this is always the dilemma that the Chamber is facing because Davao City has no economic zone and if there is an economic zone it is outside Davao City.
Milan said a lot of investors have expressed interests to invest in Davao, yet, he cited some challenges that deter them such as the land tenure.
“Because our land is sold chop-chop because of the agrarian reform. They need big (area) especially for agriculture,” he said.
For example, he said, a Malaysian was exploring to put up a palm oil industry and needs 1,000 hectares contiguous area. “Where can you find an area? There are 1,000 hectares but it’s in the ancestral domain,” Milan said.
He also cited the ancestral domain as another challenge.
“We have a lot of vacant and available unproductive land but under the ancestral domain areas and when you negotiate it’s a very tedious process to get prior consent permit that you have to secure its kind of a very challenging already,” he said.
Milan said there are a lot that the city needs to do to capture investment. He said the problem now is no longer about investment promotion but investment capture.
“They are coming already but there’s a lot of things we need to do and the city is doing its best and trying to offer incentives but there’s a limit to what the city can offer,” he said.
John Carlo Tria, vice president for professional and service venture of DCCCII said the focus now is not anymore on investment promotion but investment capture.
“Meaning to say a lot of our local entrepreneurs and businessmen will really have to go beyond the usual “kapekape” but to really discuss business to venture with,” he said. Maya M. Padillo