ARMM attracts new investor — ABSCOR Multi-Trading Co. PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 17 February 2014 12:45

A new multi-trading company in the Muslim autonomous region is expected to bring more investments in Mindanao and a great opportunity for Philippines to showcase its products abroad, particularly in Southeast Asia.

This, after the Board of Investment in the Muslim autonomous region announced the entry of ABSCOR Multi-Trading Company to its growing list of investors.

Lawyer Ishak Mastura, the BOI Chairman and Managing Head, said the entry of the new trading firm only shows the region is improving  drastically in terms of investors’ confidence and improved economic condition in the area brought about by reforms in the government, among other factors.

“We are working really to attract investors and with the entry of ABSCOR, we are sure that more and more companies are coming to invest in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao,” he said during a consultation with various Filipino and Malaysian investors in Zamboanga City.

Muctar Muarip, who sits in the Board of Governors of the Board of Investment, said with ABSCOR, the economic trading in areas where it operates is likely to improve because goods would now be readily available to the consumers.

ABSCOR president Abraham Menor said he and his Malaysian and Filipino partners were elated over the assistance provided by the Board of Investments in the registration of their company.

Menor said his Malaysian partners, who are respected and reputable business people in Sabah, were also present in the investment meeting. Among them were Hajja Sidang Ahmad, of Rosita Enterprises; Raiza Zainal Abidin, of Raiza Enterprises, and Susan Binti Ladjaguni, of Susan Hardware Enterprises.

He said ABSCOR has set up headquarters in Port Holland in Maluso town in Basilan, one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region; and another satellite office in Zamboanga City, just several nautical miles south of Basilan.

“We are trading company that deals with import and export in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and this is also one way to help small traders who are not capable or cannot put up their own firm, but now through ABSCOR Multi-Trading Company, we can help them in importing or exporting products and commodities to other countries and vice versa,” Menor told journalists.

“Our aim now is to strengthen ABSCOR and help in the economy, not only in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, but the whole country as well. We are also seriously looking into the manufacturing sector – among them the processing of seaweeds which ABSCOR can export, we will deal with agricultural and marine products, construction and hardware materials, food stuff and groceries, including scrap metals – those would be our main line of business,” he added.

Menor said their company would also provide jobs, aside from their social responsibility or commitment to the communities or in areas where they operate.

“There is a lot of projects and programs that we are now working on and we also would like to do our share in helping the country, in nation building and promote the ARMM, the Philippines in other countries as a place to come and invest and in the end, it is our people who will reap the fruits of all our labor,” he said.

Menor said they are concentrating their import-export business in BIMP-EAGA which consists of Brunei Darussalam, Central Kalimantan, North Sulawesi, South Sulawesi, Maluku, Sabah and Sarawak states and the Federal Territory of Labuan in Malaysia. East and West Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, Central Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, Irian Jaya in Indonesia, and Mindanao and Palawan province in the Philippines.

BIMP-EAGA is eyed as a major location in ASEAN of high value-added agro-industry; natural resource- based manufacturing, and high-grade tourism as well as non resource-based industries.

Mastura said they recognize ABSCOR’s trading activities in the BIMP-EAGA.

During the consultation, Mastura urged dozens of investors and traders to explore new investment opportunities in the autonomous region. He said last year the top company to register with the Board of Investment with P707 million worth of investments was nickel-mining operator, Al Tawitawi Nickel Corporation in Tawi-Tawi province in the Sulu Archipelago and that two other nickel-mining firms operating there are set to register with them.

Mastura said oil palm plantations and infrastructure projects are being eyed by the Board of Investment as sources of more investments for the Muslim autonomous region, adding palm oil is a leading industry in Malaysia. He said the year 2013 finished with a resounding investment boom in the region with a record of P1.463 billion.

He said that the new investments are mostly from local investors, who are registering with the Board of Investment because of their increased confidence in the improving peace and order situation in the area, brought about by the success of the peace negotiations.  “We are actually getting more inquiries about how to invest in the ARMM than is usual from foreign companies,” he said. — Al Jacinto