Logistics leaders look to Davao for next supply chain hub

Logistics leaders look to Davao for next supply chain hub

MANILA, Philippines — Industry leaders from the logistics, mobility, and e-commerce agreed that Mindanao is the hub that can create a seamless supply chain for the entire Philippines during the final installment of the recently conclude Davao ICon 2021 Innovation Series held virtually last Oct. 27.

The panel entitled “Mindanao as the Logistics Hub of ASEAN: First and Last Mile Logistics” featured mostly women leaders and experts who tackled improving the shipping and logistics sector so that the nation can keep up with the global shift to online and the resulting demand for more efficient deliveries.

The virtual event also coincided with the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Incorporated’s 10th General Membership Meeting, wherein the Board of Trustees and members were present.

The webinar was hosted by Davao Tourism Association president Gatchi Gatchalian who reminded the audience of the upcoming Davao Investment Conference on Nov. 11 and 12.

Davao ICon 2021 chairperson Ricardo Lagdameo noted the importance of having a Mindanao strategy to efficiently tap into the large, vibrant, and important markets present in the region. He stated during his opening remarks: Lagdameo said “All the industry leaders across all the webinars so far have agreed that Davao, and Mindanao in general, are extremely important markets for their respective businesses. It was most encouraging to hear from our FMCG experts that they all felt that in order to be an industry leader for their respective products, they needed to have a Mindanao strategy.” He added, “With an economy that’s consistently growing at a higher rate than the national average every year, coupled with a large population, the Davao region presents numerous possibilities for all investors.”

Following Lagdameo in getting the webinar underway was Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Incorporated president Maria Lourdes Monteverde. She mentioned in her welcome address the responsibility of the business sector, through the Davao ICon, as the economy aims to restore itself.

The event was unique compared to its predecessors as it featured two keynote speakers: Zoe Chi, the vice president for Philippines Global at J&T Express, and lawyer Dino Austria, district collector at the Bureau of Customs in Davao.

The panel discussion quickly followed the two keynote speeches and allowed reactors to give more insight on why their companies domiciled in Mindanao. Aside from the strategic location and the large customer base present in Mindanao, industry leaders noted that there is a readiness to go more digital and it must be cultivated to set up the region as the next logistics hub of the country.

Tatiana Cziomer, chief operations officer of e-commerce enabler Etaily, highlighted the work ethic of Davaoeños and the advantage of being IT-enabled as e-commerce continues to boom in a post-pandemic economy.

Joining the panel also was director of the executive board at multi-industry company OneLGC Lina Group of Companies, Donna May Lina. During the discussion, she enumerated the factors present in Mindanao that make it a viable logistics hub.

Sabina Lopez-Vergara, chief commercial officer of Ninja Van, added throughout the discussion the importance of being flexible and adaptable, especially when domiciling a logistics company in a region that has areas that are underdeveloped.

John Carlo Tria, who was president of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Incorporated in 2020, joined the panel to continue the conversation on the upcoming Davao Investment Conference. Aligning with insights from Maria Lourdes Monteverde, Tria stated that the Davao ICon 2021 is all about capitalizing on the policy reforms that were brought up following the previous conference, and leveraging them to make the economy more robust.

Davao ICon 2021 Co-Chairperson Nicole Bian-Ledesma closed the webinar with a brief but energizing message.