Davao City’s investment generation arm is pushing the creation of an Export Processing Zone (EPZ) to attract big investors.
The establishment of the economic zone would respond to the needs of locators, said Davao City Investment Promotion Center (DIPC) chief Ivan Cortez.
Export processing zones are surefire investment and employment generators. EPZs play key role in economic development of many cities like Subic, Clark, Cebu and General Santos. EPZs also help investors looking for plant and factory sites.
City planners have been for decades dabbled with the concept of an EPZ but the idea remained a dream.
The closest brush of the city with an EPZ was in the 80s in a privately-initiated venture that went kaput.
A consortium headed by then city councilor Corazon Malanyaon (now governor of Davao Oriental) set up First Oriental Ventures Export Processing Zone in Ilang, Bunawan District.
The venture located on a 70-hectare property was mothballed after Malanyaon’s foreign partners backed out half-way through the project.
The First Oriental property has since been foreclosed by banks and sold to urban poor dwellers.
An agri-based economic zone was also being planned at the former Daratex complex in Toril.
The government-owned National Development Corporation (NDC) has already given the city government its approval to use Daratex for the Davao Food Terminal Complex.
The project, conceptualized twenty decades ago with help from such agencies as the Department of Trade and Industry and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) has not taken off.
Cortez said the economic zone would further help push Davao City’s economic growth. JOANNA C. BALANZA