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Mindanao sees more investments as manufacturers expand to Damosa Land’s AIEC

DAVAO, PHILIPPINES—Damosa Land Inc.’s (DLI) premier agro-industrial hub Anflo Industrial Estate Corporation (AIEC) eyes more investments as large international contingents flock to Davao City.

Well-known foreign manufacturers have chosen to expand their Philippine operations in AIEC’s 63-hectare Philippine Economic Zone Authority-approved ecozone.

“After seeing what industrial parks in the country comprises of, we saw an opportunity to leverage our mother company Anflocor’s strength in agriculture and endeavor take on the role as the industry’s innovator,” DLI Head Ricardo “Cary” Floirendo Lagdameo shared.

Among the line-up of companies located in AIEC right now is the global brand Del Monte, which is considered as one of the world’s largest agricultural companies. Packwell, a Japan-based global leader in the design, manufacture and sale of quality paper packaging containers to famous brands such as Godiva Chocolates and electronic-tobacco maker IQOS is also putting up its manufacturing plant in the ecozone.

On the local level, homegrown companies such as First Panabo Tropical Foods of Sagrex, have also decided to locate in AIEC. Founded by a former PLDT Bossing awardee and Ernst & Young finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year, First Panabo is famous for its export-quality banana-based products such as saba and turon, aimed at addressing the demands of the OFW market.

Recently, AIEC forged a partnership with plastic manufacturer Manly Plastics Inc. (Manly) to occupy a 1.1-hectare land. Manly will produce plastic products for food and beverages, expediting the production of packaging products in Mindanao, instead of sourcing them from distant Luzon facilities. Manly is the largest integrated plastics company in the country whose clients include Datu Puti, Gatorade, Boysen, Toyota, and Nissan to name a few.

The partnership with Manly adds up to AIEC’s 14 locators involved in the agricultural value chain. The estate also anticipates international investors like their current partners from Japan, China, US, and the Netherlands.

Lagdameo shared that they had seen numerous investors considering and putting their capital in Davao, seeing that the region captured a total of P17.2-B investments in 2018. The presence of these investors in the ecozone provides an opportunity to promote AIEC and a possibility to bring in fellow investors to AIEC and the region.

With this inflow, AIEC, now on its second phase, have produced a total of 14 partnerships and eyes several more new investors that will locate at the hub once its last phase is completed.

These investors are estimated to generate roughly 6,000 job opportunities to the labor force of Davao once fully occupied, contributing to the region’s strong manpower and employment rate of 96.9% this year.

“With Davao as a prime spot for trade and agriculture, we have foreseen that building facilities such as ecozones, industrial estates and ready-built warehouses would also attract companies to come in quicker and more efficiently. Our familiarity of the landscape and expertise in leading their investments moving forward urges our potential partners to trust us with their valued assets,” Lagdameo added.

As the country’s food basket, Mindanao produces 40% of the country’s food needs and 30% of our food trade. AIEC, rooted in agriculture and their agro-industrial know-how, is in close proximity to ports and the Davao International Container Terminal, making them a strategic avenue for growing exportation products locally and internationally, and a suitable area for business expansions and job opportunities.

Currently, AIEC is participating in an in-bound trade mission led by the Office of the Consul General of Japan and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce, designed to celebrate the centennial year of the Japanese community in Davao. This event is a first in the region and will prove to be a good opportunity to promote Davao to numerous, well-known participating companies.

This lone operational agro industrial ecozone in the region is expecting its first recognition as part of the Circle of Excellence for the Most Innovative Company in this year’s prestigious Asia CEO Awards, along the line of Megaworld Corporation, Angkas, PayMaya Philippines, and PLDT Global Corporation among the few.