Northern Mindanao is fast emerging as the export capital of Southern Philippines, a research commissioned by an exporters’ group showed.

According to the research commissioned by the Northern Mindanao chapter of the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport), the region’s export growth since 2006 was found to be growing at an average of 15.8 percent a year.

This growth is attributed largely to two adequately equipped international seaports located in this regional capital city and in the neighboring municipality of Tagoloan.

The research results showed that Northern Mindanao’s average growth rate from 2006 to 2009 was recorded “despite a sudden drop in shipments last year, when practically all sectors suffered negative growth of a high of minus 31 percent for food, negative 10 percent for industrial goods and 15 percent for resource-based products.”

Northern Mindanao’s four-year, double-digit export growth average, said the researchers, “was a record that was only pulled off at the national level during the 1990s, when heavy investments in the electronics industry pulled export growth to double-digit levels.”

During the 2008 export bonanza, combined export volume sent out abroad from this city’s seaport and the Mindanao International Container Terminal in nearby Tagoloan town totaled 6 million tons valued at $282 million.

This record, however, went down to only 4.4 million tons worth $161 million in 2009.

The research data showed all exports in Northern Mindanao, which is comprised of the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Bukidnon, Camiguin and Lanao del Norte, and the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Gingoog, Iligan, Malaybalay, Valencia, Ozamiz, Oroquieta and Tangub.

All exports, whether direct or transshipped, pass through either the Cagayan de Oro Base Port or the MICT, a locator at the Philippine Veterans Investment Development Corp. (Phividec) Industrial Estate (PIE-MO) in the municipalities of Tagoloan and Villanueva, Misamis Oriental.

PIE-MO is under the Phividec Industrial Authority of the Department of National Defense. Most PIE-MO locators are registered with the Philippine Export Zone Authority (Peza).

The research covered 161 regular exporters, 35 of them in the fresh and processed food industry; 41 industries and 70 resource-based products, which include mineral products and processed wood like plywood.

From this city’s base port and MICT, export shipments went all across the globe directly through eight international shipping lines.

In Photo: A GANTRY crane is used by Mindanao International Container Terminal to lift very heavy objects, usually container vans, and loading them on the cargo holds of oceangoing ships.

article by Bong D. Fabe of Business Mirror

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