A “Regional Business Opportunities Forum” was held on February 9, 2017 in Iloilo City. This was organized by ECCP in cooperation with the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation as part of the European Union co-funded project “Partnerships for Integrity and Jobs between Local Governments, Business and Civil Society” (I4J Project).
In attendance were about 60 local government officials and representatives of the integrity circles in the Visayas region. Among the highlights of the event are:
- Presidential Advisor for Visayas, Undersecretary Michael Dino noted the need to increase the competitive edge of the Visayas by enhancing interconnectivity between business and the LGUs. He underlined the importance of the Regional Development Councils” as tools for integrity and multi-sector integration. He confirmed the decision to construct a bridge connecting Negros, Iloilo and Guimaras.
- DTI Director Jerry Clavesillas briefed the group on the recent liberalization of rules for registration and operation of SMEs, the laws related to SME promotion and the SME Development Plans of the National Administration. He confirmed that it is now easier for SMEs to do business in the country with Negosyo Centers in place.
- Local Chief Executives of Guimaras (Gov. Gumarin), Iloilo (Board Member Defensor) and Negros Occidental (Gov. Cosculluela) presented the varied business opportunities in their respective provinces as well as stressed their commitment to integrity practices. They invited investors to explore business opportunities in their provinces.
- Business representatives of Iloilo City (Ms. Donna Ratilla), San Carlos City (Mr. George Espinosa) and Bayawan City (Ms. Irel Manansala) presented how cooperation with City LGUs is improving the business climate in their cities. They confirmed that doing business in their cities have improved a lot the LGU as a business partner.
- KAS representative Dr. Peter Koeppinger in his closing remarks stressed that with the 60+ LGUs involved in the integrity building process, the I4J project has succeeded in creating more regional business opportunities in the country as it made both LGUs and the integrity circles business partners for attracting investments, creating jobs and promoting inclusive growth.