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Davao biz meet draws more foreign delegates

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By Digna Banzon (PNA)

DAVAO CITY -- The two-day Davao Investment Conference (Davao ICon) drew more participation from foreign businessmen with half of the 600 total delegates, particularly the European Union member countries and members of the diplomatic community.

Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCCI) president Arturo Milan said this only indicates that Davao City has become an attractive place as an investment location.

In a press briefing on Thursday, Milan said of the 12 ambassadors, six are from the Netherlands, Sweden, Russia, France, Hungary, and Belgium.

Their participation in the conference, Milan said, is a show of interest to boost trade with Davao Region and Mindanao.

"One of the export countries of Davao City is The Netherlands that's why other EU countries would also like to participate," he said.

Milan also said the participation of the ambassadors is a very good way for them to know more about Davao Region that it is a safe place for investment.

"Travel advisories are issued by the embassies and their coming here would allow them to experience our place and get a first-hand look contrary to the negative stories that they hear," he said.

"They are quite excited about Davao and I think their impression has changed slowly," he added.

Milan said the foreign delegates are first-time visitors in Davao like the Japanese, Chinese, and especially the Europeans.

On the other hand, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines in Southern Mindanao chairperson Tony Peralta said: "This is an important event for us where the ambassadors of EU member countries are also participating together with the European businessmen."

He said the businessmen have shown interest in Davao cacao, shipbuilding, construction projects, and food processing.