By John Unson
KIDAPAWAN CITY – North Cotabato and Indonesia are set to embark joint programs meant to boost their economy, Gov. Nancy Catamco said.
Catamco and Indonesian Consul General Dicky Fabrian had discussed bilateral cooperation on domestic economy during their meeting on Wednesday.
The governor and the Indonesian diplomat have agreed to work out the possible export of North Cotabato’s agricultural products to Indonesia.
Indonesia is a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a bloc of over 50 Muslim states, including petroleum-exporting countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The OIC is a key benefactor of government’s peace process with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
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Catamco suggested to Fabrian the Indonesian consulate and the provincial government can jointly organize an agriculture trade fair as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
During the trade fair, traders and entrepreneurs from Indonesia and the province can meet and explore possible joint ventures.
“We in the province can also buy products from Indonesia,” Catamco said Sunday.
Catamco said trading activities between the business communities in Indonesia and North Cotabato is viable once the Central Mindanao Airport in Mlang town in North Cotabato, designed for large cargo and passenger aircrafts, becomes operational.
He construction of M’lang Airport started in 2004 after the province acquired the 62-hectare property.
By 2010, the 1.8 kilometer runway and the terminal building were completed.
However, the project was mothballed during the nine-year term of then Governor, now Vice-Governor Emmylou Mendoza.
President Rodrigo Duterte had already ordered the completion of the airport.
Catamco said the provincial government is coordinating with the national government for the completion of the project.