COTABATO CITY – Regional Bangsamoro Board of Investments (BBOI) approved for registration during its board meeting on Thursday, Sept. 16, the first multimillion investment in Cotabato City.
Worth Php398-million, the tourism-related investment is a project of Eight Z’s Properties Building Rental located in this city. The firm intends to revive the Old Barter Tourism Center in Cotabato City which used to be famous for trading traditional and ethnic merchandise and souvenirs from the different Moro and indigenous tribes, including those from the Southeast Asian countries of Malaysia and Indonesia.
The project, upon its completion, will provide visitors and tourists easy access to these goods in Cotabato City, the provisional capital of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
“This is a significant investment for us because this is the first investment registered with RBOI-BARMM for Cotabato City since it joined the BARMM after the Bangsamoro Organic Law plebiscite in 2019 signaling to the business sector and investors that Cotabato City as the provisional capital of BARMM continues to be a vibrant and strategic gateway destination for investments in the region,” said lawyer Ishak Mastura, Chairman of the regional BBOI.
According to the regional BBOI, the type of business is for stall rentals and tourism promotions showcasing handicrafts, souvenirs, brassware, traditional Moro crafts like Inaul (i.e. hand weaved Malongs, a type of tubular garment found throughout Southeast Asia), and Muslim native food delicacies (i.e. kumukunsi, titadtag, dudul, panialam, bulwa, tipas, etc.).
The investment is said to generate 424 job employment. Fiscal incentives will be given by the regional BBOI such as income tax holiday, reduced duties for the importation of capital equipment, tax credit, deductions on labor expense, etc., together with non-fiscal incentives, such as facilitation in customs procedures.
Barter trade centers are so popular to tourists and visitors who come to Mindanao, particularly in the BARMM, because of the distinctiveness of the merchandise being sold. The items are famous for their native and Islamic motifs and designs such as Arabic calligraphy, batik and baju kurong and Hijab fashion wear including Halal products from neighboring Southeast Asian countries. (Bangsamoro Information Office)