Business leaders see the upcoming 27th Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry Conference (CACCI) in Cebu this March as a milestone event that will cement Cebu’s thrust to become a hub for investment in the country and the Asia-Pacific region.
Prudencio Gesta, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, gave this observation during the official launch of the event last Tuesday at the Cebu City Marriott Hotel.
According to Gesta, the Asia-Pacific region is now seen as the main growth area in the global market with many economic activities expected to happen in this region in the next years to come.
“With the country strategically located in the region, our aim is to maximize the potential and tap more opportunities. This event is just a start that will help businessmen in Cebu link with our counterparts in these countries,” Gesta said.
The tourism industry is expected to directly benefit from the event.
The conference would allow the delegates of business chambers from 27 countries to see what Cebu had to offer in terms of tourism, said Gordon Alan Joseph, Cebu Business Club president.
“Firstly it will open the eyes of the participants to the tourism potential of Cebu. 800 chamber tourists coming to Cebu is fantastic and will help establish Cebu as a MICE (meetings, incentives, conference and exhibitions) destination aside from a nice injection of tourism revenues for the duration of the conference,” said Joseph.
Philip N. Tan, Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, agreed.
“Cebu will once again be promoted as one of the best investment destinations in the Philippines. Spending of foreign delegates will also help the tourism industry,” said Tan.
Francis O. Monera, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice president, said the chamber would expect more opportunities for partnerships, investments, and collaboration between businessmen and their counterparts in other countries as a result of the conference.
“We hope to generate strategies and catalysts to global economic growth during the conference,” said Monera who was one of the three-man team who went to Istanbul in 2011 to bid for the hosting of the 27th CACCI Conference.
Jose Ng, the conference’s overall chairman, said they would be expecting a good number of delegates from all the other member chambers in the in the 27 countries in the region during the conference that’s set on March 14 to 15 at the Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu.
“The conference theme is ‘Asia Pacific: Catalyst to Global Recovery.’
Conference participants will be discussing how businessmen in the region can work closely together with government to sustain economic development, look at opportunities as well as the risks and problems that are seen to develop with the continued uncertainties in the world market,” said Ng.
The conference will tackle issues including the European debt crisis and its implications to Asian business and the impact of bilateral agreements on regional trade and investments
David Liu, CACCI director general, said he was optimistic that the conference in Cebu would open more doors of cooperation among member chambers and encourage or strengthen more trading relationships among countries especially that the Asia Pacific is home to 40 percent of the total global population or about three billion population base.
“We recognize the importance of business-matching to encourage more trading thus the event will have sessions in this which will benefit Cebuano businessmen,” said Liu.
According to Gesta, latest data showed that there are about three million business enterprises registered in the Asia Pacific region which means there is a huge network to tap for more trading relationships within the region alone that will help local businessmen tap global opportunities.
CACCI is a regional grouping of national chambers of commerce and industry, business associations and business enterprises in 27 countries in Asia and the Western Pacific.
It is a non-governmental organization serving as a forum for promoting the vital role of businessmen in the region, increasing regional business interaction, and enhancing regional economic growth.