N. Mindanao ready to break into int’l trade?

MANILA, Philippines – Northern Mindanao is now on the cusp of a breakthrough in reaping the benefits of international trade, Department of Trade and Industry  (DTI) Assistant Secretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo said.

"Opportunities abound for growth and investment in fields such as agriculture, food processing, service-related industries and trade infrastructure services," he said.

Rodolfo spoke after a meeting between the DTI and Northern Mindanao business leaders to discuss updates on the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and the country's European Strategy, held March 5, at Cagayan de Oro City.

The DTI has been working in partnership with other international organizations to identify specific interventions to assist the local small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in building capacity for production, packaging, and promotion among others, according to Linda O. Boniao, officer-in-charge-regional director of DTI Region 10 (Northern Mindanao).

Logistics network

One example is in Bukidnon, where the DTI partnered with the Hineleban Foundation Inc (HFI), through its Shared Service Facility (SSF) project, to acquire post-harvest and processing equipment for their famous coffee produce, Boniao added.

A major element in preparing Northern Mindanao for increased international trade is ensuring the efficiency of the region's logistics network.

To facilitate this the DTI has conducted an ocular inspection of the Mindanao International Container Terminal Services Incorporated (MICT) in Cagayan de Oro. 

Even with its current capacity of 270,000 20-foot container vans, the MICT has plans to expand both its berth length and container yard to help ease port congestion in Metro Manila, according to Rodolfo.

"Other major ports outside of Metro Manila will be the gateway of our local SMEs and industries to foreign markets, while at the national level, the continuing initiatives to ease port congestion will improve country productivity and allow us to deftly adapt to dynamic global market needs," Rodolfo said. – Rappler.com