Mindanao attracts Mideast investors for port development and boosts halal industry

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Davao portThe Philippine’s southernmost region of Mindanao, a predominantly Muslim island group with about 25 million people which last year signed a peace treaty with the government after a decade-long violent insurgency that had brought its economy to the knees, has been successful in enticing its first Middle East investor since the policy change, local reports said.

Dubai-based port operator Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O), a company of DP World group, has said it is looking into the possibility of entering a partnership with the Mindanao government and a private company to develop two major projects in Davao City, the largest urban center in the region. P&O wants to set up a joint company to operate the Davao Sasa Port modernisation project and participate in a land reclamation project of the r project which will create one of the Philippines largest port facilities with works planned to start in 2016. P&O has experience with doing business in the Philippines as it is already operating a container terminal in Manila.

The news broke after a Mindanao delegation visited the Annual Investment Meeting in Dubai between March 30 and April 1 in a bid to attract possible investors from the Middle East. According to Romeo Montenegro, public affairs head of the Mindanao Development Authority, other investment areas than infrastructure have also been promoted at the Dubai meeting, namely agriculture and agribusiness, especially the halal industry, power and energy projects, as well as tourism.

To push the halal food business, Mindanao will now get its first one-stop halal certification shop, according to the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which said that strengthening the Philippines’ halal industry would boost the country’s food exports to the UAE and other nations in the Middle East.
“This is a great opportunity for the Philippines to enter the billion-dollar halal industry,” said DTI Undersecretary Prudencio Reyes Jr. in a statement in April.

“Mindanao could be a potential producer of halal tuna, sardines, banana, coconut, fruits and most especially poultry and livestock products due to its advantage as bird flu and foot-and-mouth-disease free island,” he said, adding that he believed that tapping the halal market will also improve the flow of Muslim visitors to the country since they will have access to halal food. The sector could also embark on other halal products such as textile and fashion, cosmetics, beauty products and pharmaceutical goods, he said.

“This initiative is our way of opening halal products and services to our Muslim brothers and sisters in Mindanao and other parts of the country,” Reyes said.

So far, the halal market in the Philippines, a Catholic-majority country, has been small, less than five per cent of the $1.38 trillion-halal trade in the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, a region which contributes around 60 per cent to the global halal trade whose value is estimated at $2.3 trillion.

According to the regional Department of Science and Technology, Mindanao will now also get a large state-of-the-art halal laboratory facility to be called the “Philippine National Halal Laboratory and Science Center”. The national government plans to establish a centralised Philippine Halal Accreditation and Regulatory Board after the proposed “Philippine Halal Act of 2015” will be passed. That way, Mindanao could become a major global halal production base, an important trade and food security partner for the Middle East and an attractive destination for halal investors.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Philippine’s southernmost region of Mindanao, a predominantly Muslim island group with about 25 million people which last year signed a peace treaty with the government after a decade-long violent insurgency that had brought its economy to the knees, has been successful in enticing its first Middle East investor since the policy change, local reports said.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Davao portThe Philippine’s southernmost region of Mindanao, a predominantly Muslim island group with about 25 million people which last year signed a peace treaty with the government after a decade-long violent insurgency that had brought its economy to the knees, has been successful in enticing its first Middle East investor since the policy change, local reports said.

Dubai-based port operator Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O), a company of DP World group, has said it is looking into the possibility of entering a partnership with the Mindanao government and a private company to develop two major projects in Davao City, the largest urban center in the region. P&O wants to set up a joint company to operate the Davao Sasa Port modernisation project and participate in a land reclamation project of the r project which will create one of the Philippines largest port facilities with works planned to start in 2016. P&O has experience with doing business in the Philippines as it is already operating a container terminal in Manila.

The news broke after a Mindanao delegation visited the Annual Investment Meeting in Dubai between March 30 and April 1 in a bid to attract possible investors from the Middle East. According to Romeo Montenegro, public affairs head of the Mindanao Development Authority, other investment areas than infrastructure have also been promoted at the Dubai meeting, namely agriculture and agribusiness, especially the halal industry, power and energy projects, as well as tourism.

To push the halal food business, Mindanao will now get its first one-stop halal certification shop, according to the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which said that strengthening the Philippines’ halal industry would boost the country’s food exports to the UAE and other nations in the Middle East.
“This is a great opportunity for the Philippines to enter the billion-dollar halal industry,” said DTI Undersecretary Prudencio Reyes Jr. in a statement in April.

“Mindanao could be a potential producer of halal tuna, sardines, banana, coconut, fruits and most especially poultry and livestock products due to its advantage as bird flu and foot-and-mouth-disease free island,” he said, adding that he believed that tapping the halal market will also improve the flow of Muslim visitors to the country since they will have access to halal food. The sector could also embark on other halal products such as textile and fashion, cosmetics, beauty products and pharmaceutical goods, he said.

“This initiative is our way of opening halal products and services to our Muslim brothers and sisters in Mindanao and other parts of the country,” Reyes said.

So far, the halal market in the Philippines, a Catholic-majority country, has been small, less than five per cent of the $1.38 trillion-halal trade in the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, a region which contributes around 60 per cent to the global halal trade whose value is estimated at $2.3 trillion.

According to the regional Department of Science and Technology, Mindanao will now also get a large state-of-the-art halal laboratory facility to be called the “Philippine National Halal Laboratory and Science Center”. The national government plans to establish a centralised Philippine Halal Accreditation and Regulatory Board after the proposed “Philippine Halal Act of 2015” will be passed. That way, Mindanao could become a major global halal production base, an important trade and food security partner for the Middle East and an attractive destination for halal investors.

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