More foreign investment pitch for Iloilo City eyed

ILOILO CITY -- Iloilo City is in the line of sight of foreign investors, with various groups sending their interest to explore this city, Mayor Jose Espinosa III has said.

While the British Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (BCCP) is winding its two-day trade mission on Friday, the mayor said a team from the United States Embassy will be coming over for economic prospects this March 25.

“The Americans are coming back, the British are now here,” Espinosa said.

He recalled that last January, he met with the president of a business group from Vienna, Austria who asked for possible investments they could explore in Iloilo.

The Russian ambassador, who was here during the recent Dinagyang Festival, offered to bring in their Russian warship to Iloilo, to which the mayor responded positively.

He added that if the plan pushes through, it would be the first-ever Russian ship to enter Iloilo City that could boost the tourism industry. Proper communication is now being done to have the plan realized.

In addition, they also offered to hold a “ball” here, to showcase their culture.

He was also assured by a Japanese group that a cruise ship will dock in Iloilo City next year.

Australian investors are looking for a location to open 5,000 seats for their business process outsourcing (BPO) firms. Right now, the industry already employs 21,000 Ilonggos.

“Because of what is happening in our city, we are now in the investment map of various groups, as a destination for trade and industry and tourism,” he said.

Earlier, Ricthel Gavan, head of the city’s Local Economic and Investment Promotion Office, said Iloilo City is positioning itself to become a destination for service, manufacturing and agribusiness, arts and culture, research and technology and tourism. (PNA)