Phividec eyes more investors to ‘maximize’ industrialization

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY–The administrator of the Misamis Oriental-based Philippine Veterans Investment Development Corporation (Phividec) Industrial Authority said the country needs more investors to create industries using local resources and maximize national industrialization.

Lawyer Franklin Quijano said the development of national industries will be the primary topic during the November 25-27 Philippine Industrial Summit to be held in this city.

Organized by the PIE-MO Industries Association Inc. in partnership with Phividec, the summit aims to entice more investors to look for potential business ventures in Mindanao.

Quijano pointed out that despite the entry of a USD3.5-billion investment from a Chinese steel company Panhua Group Co.Ltd., the government needs to further establish its own industries to achieve trade balance and boost the economy, in general.

He said that the entry of the Panhua Group, which will start construction within the 300-hectare estate by yearend, can generate 30,000 jobs for Misamis Oriental.

Quijano said national industrialization should not be limited to local businesses and should be opened to foreign investors such as Panhua Group.

Currently, he noted that the bulk of the country’s export consists mainly of mineral ores, and that industrialization means developing the downstream industry in the country.

For instance, he said the steel industry can be a backbone of the Philippine industrial growth and has the potential to develop other industries as well.

“When that happens, we do not need to export anymore. We only need to bring the iron ore materials, the coal from our coal mining areas and limestone, put them together and you will have steel,” the Phividec administrator said.

Quijano recalled that the government once operated the steel industry in Iligan City through the National Steel Corp. (NSC), until 2004.

He pointed out that NSC was once one of the largest steel mills in Asia until it failed to modernize and went bankrupt, was privatized thrice, and mothballed again in 2009.

During the time, he said the steel industry provided job opportunities to Iligan City residents and neighboring areas, preventing an exodus of vital labor resources.

Quijano, a former Iligan City mayor, said he remains optimistic the government can encourage more foreign investors to pour in capital to Mindanao, particularly in Phivedec. -PNA

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