Mindanao Times

BARMM seen as major investment destinatio­n


COTABATO CITY -- The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) hopes to become a major investment destinatio­n in the country as the Regional Board of Investment­s (RBOI) recorded PHP4.1 billion worth of financing in 2019 which is 80 percent higher compared to last yearʼs PHP2.5 billion.

The optimism is anchored on the report presented on Wednesday by Shamera A. Abobakar, RBOI senior investment specialist, following a recent RBOI year-end reporting and investment briefing held in Cotabato City.

Abobakar said BARMM Chief Minister Ahod

Balawag Ebrahim has traveled to Saudi Arabia and Turkey for investment missions and to establish closer economic cooperatio­n with the two countries earlier this year.

Ebrahim has also spoken to potential investors from Malaysia and Indonesia and to local investors inviting them to explore the business

opportunit­ies in the region, she said.

“The BARMM chief minister has become the regionʼs top investment promoter,” said lawyer Ishak V. Mastura, RBOI chairperso­n..

As a result of the regional business venture promotion, Mastura said RBOIBARMM is expecting more investment­s in 2020.

Investment prospects, incentives

Mastura said agricultur­e is still the top-ranked investment opportunit­y in the region due to ideal agro-climactic conditions and fertile lands available in the region.

Other investment priority areas that may push through next year are infrastruc­ture, healthcare, mining, education, energy (natural gas), manufactur­ing and transporta­tion as potential investors see these industries as feasible in the Bangsamoro Region.

With the passage of Republic Act 11439 or the Islamic Banking Act in August this year, which provides for the organizati­on, regulation, and powers of Islamic banks to be establishe­d in the country, BARMM is leveraging its position as the only Muslimmajo­rity region in the country by promoting investment­s in Islamic banking and finance.

Under the said law, Islamic banks are treated as universal banks meaning that they can establish business subsidiari­es.

While there is an existing Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank that BARMM wants to acquire, the region can also explore setting up its government-owned Islamic bank through legislatio­n.

Private investors with foreign partners can likewise form Islamic banks. One way of attracting investment in Islamic banking and financing is through fiscal incentives.

For instance, Indonesia’s National Committee for Sharia Finance (KNKS) executive director Ventje Rahardjo said during Ebrahim’s recent visit that Sharia banks still need help, through temporary tax incentives, to reach the goal.

 ??  ?? HEADED by Asst. Vice President Dan Rey Faelnar, Hedcor hands over the new school building to both faculty and students.
HEADED by Asst. Vice President Dan Rey Faelnar, Hedcor hands over the new school building to both faculty and students.

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