ARMM holds investments roadshow in Cotabato City

Cotabato City, Philippines – In a bid to improve investment opportunities, the Regional Board of Investments of the Autonomous Region in Muslim in Mindanao (RBOI-ARMM) held a consultation forum with stakeholders here.

Investors and representatives from the business community, government agencies, banks, and the academe attended the event, which covers presentations of the economic activities of the ARMM, shares insights and concerns about investments generation in the region, and reviews the 2017 ARMM Investment Priorities Plan (IPP).

Lawyer Ishak Mastura, RBOI-ARMM chairperson, said the plan is focused on the theme “Scaling Up and Dispersing Opportunities”, which will serve as the blueprint in guiding investors in matching their business capacities with opportunities identified in the region’s IPP to steer economic growth.

“The reason for the conduct of regional IPP roadshows is to inform the participants about the salient features and implementing guidelines of the new IPP,” Atty. Mastura said.

The 2017-2019 ARMM Investment Priorities Plan is formulated based on the updated Philippine Development Plan 2017-2019 and ARMM’s Regional Development Plan. Anchored on the Duterte administration’s zero + 10-point Socio-Economic Agenda and Ambisyon Natin 2040, the 2017-2019 ARMM Investment Priorities Plan promotes investments in preferred economic activities and sectors that will have a direct and positive impact on the lives of ARMM’s constituents.

IPP consultations in the region were organized as early as mid-2015 starting in Lamitan City in Basilan followed by multisectoral public consultations in Cotabato City, Parang and Upi in Maguindanao; Bongao in Tawi-Tawi; and Marawi City in Lanao del Sur. A total of six multisectoral consultations were conducted region-wide to craft ARMM’s new list of investment priorities.

ARMM’s list has the following priority investment areas:
· export industry;
· agriculture and aquaculture;
· basic industries;
· infrastructure;
· industrial service facilities;
· engineering industries;
· logistics;
· Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA)-related investment enterprises;
· tourism;
· health and education services and facilities;
· Halal industry;
· bank and non-bank financial institutions including Islamic banking and finance; and
· energy.
Discussed in the forum held here are investment opportunities in the region and the fiscal and non-fiscal incentives the government is providing to qualified investors as well as the process for registration under the RBOI to avail of the incentives.

Atty. Mastura reiterated that ARMM seeks to attract more financing, or financial institutions, since the region remains severely under-serviced by banks. Access to basic financial services in ARMM is practically non-existent, he said. Other than conventional banking and finance, the list also includes Islamic Banking and Finance.

Similar consultation forums will be conducted in the five provinces and two cities in the region to bring investment concerns and services to the public, especially the investors. (ARMM/Bureau of Public Information)