BONGAO, Tawi-Tawi – In pursuit of Revenue Generation and Economic Comparative Advantage as one of the BARMM’s 12-point priority agenda for 2023-2025, the regional government conducted in this province a seminar workshop on the development of investment proposals.
The Ministry of Trade, Investments, and Tourism’s Bureau of Investments (MTIT-BOI) organized the seminar on Nov. 28, with participants from the local government units and members of the private sector.
MTIT-BOI Director Shamera Abobakar highlighted the timeliness of the initiative, following the successful launch of the Tawi-Tawi – Lahad Datu Barter Trade on September 28, 2023, opening vast opportunities for economic growth in Tawi-Tawi and other BARMM provinces.
“The goal of MTIT-BOI for Tawi-Tawi and BARMM is to prepare the Bangsamoro people for potential investments, creation of jobs, income and taxes that would boost our economy. We are talking of millions of investments on so many aspects such as natural resources, eco-tourism, halal trade, and production,” Abobakar said.
Aligned with the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area or the BIMP-EAGA initiative to boost trade and tourism, Tawi-Tawi has officially become a gateway port for Philippines’ intra-reginal shipping routes. The MTIT, chairing the Bangsamoro Barter Trade Council, will ensure the establishment of economic zones and a facilitate progressive trading with the neighboring countries.
The seminar also aimed to market Tawi-Tawi to other provinces and regions to establish and increase public-private partnership and endorse business-friendly policies.
One of the notable investment proposals during the seminar involved the operation of a Halal Cold Storage in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi. Since Bongao will be the center of the barter trade to Lahud Datu in Malaysia, the storage is a crucial component to ensure the quality of the products that will be imported and exported.
Commending the proposal, Mohammad Taha Basman, a consultant from The Asia Foundation emphasized its potential in bolstering the Halal industry and attracting investors, contributing to taxes collection and revenue generation for Tawi-Tawi and BARMM.
MTIT-BOI anticipates the refinement of the participants investment proposals with the collaborative efforts from MTIT–Tawi-Tawi and the provincial government, aiming for readiness for the January 2024 Investment Summit.
The Provincial Government of Tawi-Tawi, represented by Provincial Tourism Officer Pershing Taiyab, expressed full support for MTIT-BOI’s initiatives, expressing gratitude for BARMM’s efforts in advancing Tawi-Tawi towards a more progressive and developed economy.
Concluding the seminar was the commitment of MTIT Tawi-Tawi Provincial Office to tirelessly work towards a productive and developed province, ultimately serving as an economic advantage for BARMM. (Laila Aripin/BIO)