Barter trade center to beef up ARMM economy PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 08 June 2011 14:11

Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) officials are optimistic that the construction of the P7-million barter trade center in Polloc Freeport recently will beef up the economy of the 21-year-old region.

ARMM Executive Secretary Naguib Sinarimbo, representing Acting Governor Ansaruddin Alonto-Adiong, led the groundbreaking rites on a 800-square meter space inside the port compound of Polloc Freeport in Cotabato City.

ARMM information chief Ali Macabalang said the construction works for the one-storey barter trade edifice kicked off promptly for completion within this month.
Port Manager Moharrim Mohammad said the proposed building’ P7-million funds came from the special projects fund of Gov. Adiong, who is credited for his issuance of an edict declaring the Polloc wharf as a regional freeport upon assuming the ARMM leadership in December 2009.

Mohammad disclosed that the edifice will contain 36 stalls, each of which spanning three-meter by four-meter with built-in small office and comfort room, he said.
To ensure an ideal maintenance of the facilities, he said, the stalls will be leased at “minimal rate” to barter traders participating in the freeport trading activities spurred by the regular voyages of cargo ships between the Polloc’s regional economic zone and East Asian states.

At the groundbreaking rites, Sinarimbo echoed Acting Governor Adiong’s appeal to traders in the autonomous region to bond together and harness fully the ARMM’s trade links with Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia.

An ARMM trade delegation had forged last December a business tie-up with the business council of Sabah, Malaysia.
Sinarimbo said the Polloc Freeport, which is Mindanao’s lone free port facility, is strategically located in the Asia-Pacific rim and offering extraordinary tax incentives for local and foreign traders.

In his speech, he prodded resident-traders about the swift economic growths in Hongkong and Singapore through their well-organized ports administrations.
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by ARMM Regional Treasurer Kanggo Umal, Army’s Task Force Bigkis Lahi chief Col. Antonio Arriba, officials of the regional economic zone authority, customs authorities, traders and other stakeholders. --rene carbayas