Malaysian investors have expressed interest to tap into the food supply business opportunities being offered by Palawan and are keen to enter into business agreements that will take advantage of the expected opening of the Palawan-Kudat trade route in September.
This emerged during the 1st Southern Palawan Business Tourism Forum and Business Matching and Expo held in Brooke’s Point close to the newly opened Buliluyan port in Bataraza that will link Palawan to the Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysian market under the BIMP-EAGA initiatives.
Datuk Haji Roselan Johar Mohamed, the chairman of the BIMP-EAGA in Sabah, Malaysia, said Palawan’s food products are competitive in their markets because of their low price and varied types.
“They have produced a lot of foodstuffs, especially which we feel is readily marketable in our country. The most important product for us is the food. Your foodstuff, all the food are very very cheap. There are lots of opportunities for you to market,” he said.
Elmer S. Zita, the BIMP-EAGA Business Council (BEBC) Palawan event spokesperson, told Palawan News that 73 business representatives from Palawan were able to present the products and services they could offer to their counterpart-investor-participants from South Korea, China, Taiwan, Brunei, Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia.
Zita said there were 24 business firms from all over Palawan who showcased their agricultural products; nine from construction and mining section; eight from travel and tours; three in consultancy; 20 under food services; six in real estate and three in medical services.
“We are able to invite, manifest before our prospective investors and have their presence in this convergence of businessmen… these different countries discussed and transact possible collaboration of profitability on the prospect of business and investment pertaining to the different sectors that we have,” Zita said.
Palawan vice governor Dennis M. Socrates described the event as “a step forward” in ensuring further business negotiations with Palawan’s BIMP-EAGA counterparts.
“Ang private sectors, sila mismo ang nag-initaite ng event kung saan puwedeng magtagpo ang supply and demand side ng goods and services in our East Asian Growth Area. I think this is a step forward. There is signing of agreements already tomorrow. Maaring agreements to agree or to negotiate further, to continue talking, but I think it’s a step forward already. Each businessman will look for his counterpart, kung anong produkto niya [na] gusto niyang bilhin,” Socrates said
Datuk Haji Roselan Johar Mohamed said they could import food from the province at much lower prices than their current supplies.
“I think BEBC Palawan has done a very very good job. I am very impressed with the people of Palawan. The ferry will start from Buliluyan Port to Kudat Port. The ferry will start hopefully by September this year,” Mohamed said.
Benedicto M. Guaño, PEDCO president, and BEBC alternate country director, said he is expecting a “good turnout” in the signing of a memorandum of agreement between Palawan’s BIMP-EAGA counterparts on the last day of this business convergence Saturday.
“So we will be signing some MOAs already. We will continue to follow up and follow through until we could have the benchmark of the progress. I would say on a scale of one to ten, we hit already something like seven to eight percent,” Guaño told Palawan News.
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