DAVAO City, Philippines = Port developer and operator Mega Harbour Port and Development Inc. is set to show the way to the rise of a “global Mindanao” at the upcoming 18th Davao Agri Trade Expo (DATE) slated here at the SM Convention Center, SM Lanang Premier on September 22-24.
Mega Harbour chairman Reghis M. Romero II said the company had been in the thick of preparations for its corporate and project presentations to the DATE participants and the members and guests of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce & Industry Inc.
Confirming Mega Harbour’s platinum sponsorship of DATE, Romero said the company’s presentation would essentially show the strategic importance of a “modern, world-class, masterplanned and pro-nature port” in opening up any region to international trade, tourism, and investments.
“In today’s era, not having a port of that kind could pose a formidable disincentive and a severe bottleneck to the supply chain, and prevent the entire South from optimizing its great economic potential,” Romero said, referring to forgone foreign investments and trade opportunities with vast overseas markets, including agri- and cruise tourism in an essentially archipelagic country like the Philippines,” Romero explained, citing the P39-billion Mega Harbour port development project in this city as a key to filling up that “gaping gap.”
Romero also described the project as “fully aligned” with President Duterte’s vision of a federal system of governance, underscoring Mega Harbour’s inherent role as a major generator of revenues, employment, livelihood, business opportunities, and entrepreneurial activities.
“With this modern eco-friendly international port, Davao City can help the entire Philippines take advantage of its much-vaunted strategic location in the heart of Southeast Asia and enable this city of bloom to blossom in all its glory as the capital of EAGA (East Asia Growth Area). Thus, Davao City will then serve as the national model for the rise of similar ports across the archipelago,” Romero stressed, hinting at his plan to replicate the project in key areas nationwide.
When sought for details, Romero says the project presentation is scheduled on September 23, just before Mega Harbour’s hosted lunch for Davao Chamber’s members and guests.
It will also be on September 23 when the Davao Chamber will stage DATE’s parallel event The First Ever Agri Marketing Conference.
Davao Chamber executive director Maan Doromal describes Mega Harbour’s participation in the event as very timely as the focus of this year’s DATE includes exporting.
The Davao Chamber is expecting foot traffic of 10,000 to12,000 trade visitors. Their number more than doubled from 4,000 in 2011 to 8,856 in 2015, while sales surged by more than 550 percent from P61.5 million to a whopping P342.8 million over that five-year period.
“The numbers can grow even further as Mega Harbour takes shape and become operational in the few years ahead,” Romero added.
Mega Harbour’s sister firm Harbour Centre Port Terminal (HCPT) in Manila posted phenomenal increases in cargo volume from 3.0 million metric tons to 6.0 million over the past five years.
HCPT’s 1.115-km berth will be increased by another kilometer and its 12-hectare apron and storage area will be expanded by an additional 20 hectares through a reclamation project that will be completed in just a year.
“We are prioritizing port development in our menu of infrastructure and environment projects because of its urgency in the wake of the ASEAN economic integration. As a responsible corporate citizen, we have to align our priorities with national interests,” Romero quipped, hailing the Davao Chamber for giving this year’s DATE the theme Bridging the Gap: Global Opportunities for Mindanao’s Golden Crops.
“The theme also speaks of Mega Harbour’s purpose and vision,” Romero added.