This business forum aims to build a bridge that will connect local producers and business groups to Johor and reach a larger market. The group of investors includes officials from the ISKANDAR Regional Development Authority, Johor Corporation, IMCoop--the three big players in Johor.
In a schedule set by the city government of Cotabato, the Malaysian investors will be arriving on January 25 and are set to personally meet with cooperatives on and other traders in the city on January 27 and see for themselves which industries have the potential to expand operations in Johor.
City Mayor Japal J. Guiani, Jr. says the visit of the Malaysian investors to Cotabato City is one of the results of their recent business trip to Johor last December 2015. Mayor Guiani was able to talk to these groups and accordingly, they have expressed their intent to invest in Cotabato City and help create livelihood and employment for the Cotabatenios.
"The business trip to Johor was one of the major projects that we have planned in 2015. It was actually our former city administrator Atty. Frances Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi who conceptualized and coordinated all of this. And as we have said, the trip was really fruitful", the Mayor added.
The Mayor's trip to Johor was initially scheduled during the first half of 2015 when he was invited by the State Secretary for a State visit.
Another factor that added more interest to these Malaysian groups in exploring the investment potentials of Cotabato City is the current progress that the city is experiencing.
Mayor Guiani said the Malaysians were impressed with the several recognitions that the city has recently received and the growth in the city's economy with the opening of several malls and the significant decrease in the unemployment rate.
"Nakita nila ang efforts ng local government in alleviating the lives of the people of Cotabato City and gusto nila tayong tulungan na ma-improve pa natin ito. All of these will be discussed in the business forum. We will be laying down all the possibilities that they can choose from", he added.
The City Government will be presenting about the rich aquaculture and agriculture resources of the city as these are the areas that the Malaysian investors are highly interested in. The cooperatives and other groups that are engaged in these industries will be invited to the forum for them to be given a chance to interact with the Malaysians and form agreements on how they can expand their markets.
The Halal industry will also be given emphasis as the city government is working on making Cotabato City the future center of Halal not just in Region 12, but the whole country as well.
The Halal Slaughterhouse, once it becomes fully operational, is planned to have further developments in the future to make it a "Triple A" and be able to export Halal meat to the ASEAN market.
Other key stakeholders in the economic activities of Cotabato City will also be invited to the business forum. According to the Malaysians, they would want this visit to be packed with information about Cotabato City, its industries, its facilities, and its utilities.
Other than the business forum, the Malaysians will also be going around the city and conduct site visitation to the Halal Slaughterhouse, Kalanganan areas, and others for them to personally see and experience the various products of Cotabato City.
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