The two-day 4th Davao Investment Conference that opened Friday turned out impressive in terms of the participants numbering to more than 500 (investors) according to the organizer Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) surpassing its 300 targeted participants. The event successfully gathered a good number of investors despite the city under martial law. Take note, the investors were not just locals, there were also investors from other countries making it an international event. This year’s ICon could also be described as historical with President of the Republic Rodrigo Duterte a Davaoeño as guest of honor. ICon Program Committee Chair John Carlos Tria confirmed it is also the first time for the conference to have an international business leader as speaker in the person of Air Asia Group CEO Anthony Francis “Tony” Fernandes.
For Mayor Sara Duterte, the good number of crowd speaks well of the city as an investment hub and investors’ confidence on Davao to remain strong despite the challenge of martial rule. This challenge, instead of dampening the spirits of local officials and business leaders has instead encouraged them to work hard in sustaining the city’s attraction to investors. Among the initiatives being pursued is to elaborate on the investors the good effect of tightened security or visibility of security forces in the city since this rather pictures a safe city and not war-stricken.
Also the challenge has pushed the city government and private sector to strengthen its priority investment areas and further cutting red tape in doing business. To remain positive about the state of security in Mindanao is indeed helpful for Davaoeños to keep going with business as usual. Although martial law has created a slowdown in tourism, other businesses continue to thrive making the city still economically stable. Let this constructive outlook continue to allow the city’s life and economy to remain vibrant and resilient against bigger challenges ahead.