Philippine clashes start to worry investors

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Mindanao clashesFierce fighting between government troops and Muslim rebels on the Philippine southern island of Mindanao that left at least 60 dead is increasingly worrying investors, raising concerns about that region’s stability and reputation as one of Asia’s hottest economies.

The standoff involves Philippine forces killing or capturing 100 Muslim rebels from a militant group that had been holding scores of people hostage in Zamboanga City. Government troops have closed in during the past week, responding to the rebels entering the trading hub on September 9.

The Philippines has been lauded lately as a bright spot among emerging markets. Particularly, the fertile Mindanao region contributes 15 per cent to the Philippine economy, and there have been some notable investment stories there in the recent past.

The Zamboanga peninsula alone contributed little to the Philippine economy at 2.1 per cent last year, but led Mindanao’s economic expansion, having grown the fastest at 12.4 per cent among the country’s 17 regions.

However, the drawn-out standoff is making investors skeptical about doing business in the area, saying that the country could risk an economic fallout.

Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr, vice chairman of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the fighting could undo efforts undertaken so far to recast Mindanao’s image from a war-torn area to an investment and tourism destination.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Fierce fighting between government troops and Muslim rebels on the Philippine southern island of Mindanao that left at least 60 dead is increasingly worrying investors, raising concerns about that region’s stability and reputation as one of Asia’s hottest economies.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Mindanao clashesFierce fighting between government troops and Muslim rebels on the Philippine southern island of Mindanao that left at least 60 dead is increasingly worrying investors, raising concerns about that region’s stability and reputation as one of Asia’s hottest economies.

The standoff involves Philippine forces killing or capturing 100 Muslim rebels from a militant group that had been holding scores of people hostage in Zamboanga City. Government troops have closed in during the past week, responding to the rebels entering the trading hub on September 9.

The Philippines has been lauded lately as a bright spot among emerging markets. Particularly, the fertile Mindanao region contributes 15 per cent to the Philippine economy, and there have been some notable investment stories there in the recent past.

The Zamboanga peninsula alone contributed little to the Philippine economy at 2.1 per cent last year, but led Mindanao’s economic expansion, having grown the fastest at 12.4 per cent among the country’s 17 regions.

However, the drawn-out standoff is making investors skeptical about doing business in the area, saying that the country could risk an economic fallout.

Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr, vice chairman of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the fighting could undo efforts undertaken so far to recast Mindanao’s image from a war-torn area to an investment and tourism destination.

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