BOI sees countless business opportunities in Bicol

Cagsawa Ruins, Albay. Photo courtesy
Cagsawa Ruins, Albay. Photo courtesy

LEGAZPI CITY (23-Oct-2012/PNA) – There is countless opportunities for business investment in Bicol, according to the Board of Investments (BOI), an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

BOI regional director Domingo Bagaporo here on Monday said agribusiness and fishery, mass housing, energy, iron and steel, creative industries or knowledge-based services and construction are among the region’s investment openings listed under the preferred projects in the current Investment Priority Plans (IPP) of the government.

Under agribusiness and fishery category, commercial production of crops planted in new areas, poultry and livestock are among the promising trade activities.

Bicol had vast areas of land waiting to be tapped for new plantations of high-value crops of which the region is famous. These include abaca, coconut, pili, root crops, vegetables, bamboo and upland rice.

Abaca fiber called Manila hemp is the region’s leading export product, while processed pili nut commodities are now inching its way into capturing a niche in the international market.

Bamboo, on the other hand, is a globally in demand material for various industries that offer an billion market yearly.

Vegetables and upland rice are highly marketable commodities in the local market while root crops are also needed in food processing and livestock feed manufacturing.

In fishery, seaweed production, prawn and freshwater fish culture, establishment of multi-species hatchery and aquasilviculture projects, mariculture parks and municipal fishports are also highly viable.

Apart from its importance as healthy food, seaweeds also have various uses for industrial and pharmaceutical manufacturing, making it widely in demand.

The Philippines had about 100 varieties of seaweed that could be cultured in the vast coastal waters of Bicol.

A processing plant of the National Seaweed Development Technology Center (NSTDC) has been established in Sorsogon City.

Commercial processing of locally produced raw materials and animal and aqua feeds, services such as post harvest facilities, mechanized harvests, fertilizers and pesticides are also enumerated under the agribusiness category with potential for growth.

Creative industries or knowledge-based services that include business process outsourcing (BPO), on the other hand, is consistently expanding around major destinations in the region like this city.

This sector is getting more attractive with the inclusion of the non-voice system which is now listed under export information technology (IT)-enabled services with original content such as software development, animation, engineering design and game development.

Under the construction category, infrastructure activities, shipbuilding, research and development, green projects, motor vehicles and strategic projects are also good investment areas in Bicol, Bagaporo said.

Hospital and medical services, disaster prevention, mitigation and recovery projects were also listed in the IPP for the region that the present government is pursuing, he added.

All these investment potentials, Bagaporo said are being promoted by the BOI under its 2012 Investment Roadshow which last week was held in Naga City.

BOI, through the Omnibus Investment Code, is mandated to take the lead in promoting investments in the Philippines and guide aspiring entrepreneurs and investors in their journey in the business world.

Under this promotional campaign, Bagaporo said BOI offers incentives to business ventures that could be availed of once they register their business with the bureau.

They can avail themselves not just of the fiscal incentives but also of the non-financial freebies and other perks which would be beneficial to their respective businesses, he said.

“We are enjoining businessmen to register at BOI however, they should see to it that the business activities they have chosen are listed under the IPP,” Bagaporo stressed.

Other activities not included on the list can still avail of the incentives as long as at least half of its production is marked for export, for 60 percent Filipino-owned and 40-percent foreign-owned enterprises. (PNA)


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