A “Sugar and More” Negros Summit will be held Thursday as a proactive initiative in response to the growing challenges affecting the sugarcane industry, that, if not addressed effectively will ultimately affect the economy of Negros, former Gov. Rafael Coscolluela said yesterday.
The summit to be held at Sugarland Hotel in Bacolod City is spearheaded by the Negros Occidental Investment and Promotion Center.
The two Negros provinces need to reexamine their strategic positions in terms of economic direction in relation to the rest of the country and Southeast Asia, and to find ways to strengthen the agricultural economy while developing other avenues for more investments, growth and job creation, a briefer on the event said.
Coscolluela, provincial consultant on investment and promotions, trade and export development and inter-agency coordination, said the summit aims to map out measures to position Negros Island's sugarcane industry as a more competitive, diversified and sustainable sector of the economy.
It also aims to develop a blueprint for a more resilient, balanced and sustainable Negros Island economy, he said.
The measures that will be proposed are envisioned to provide industry stakeholders with action points to address specific issues or concerns such as competition, low prices, labor shortage, government policies detrimental to the industry, Coscoluela said.
One session will present options for those who may want to explore alternatives to sugarcane growing, he said.
The summit is also an opportunity to present a Negros economic development framework anchored on a diversified agro-industrial base and stronger Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, tourism, services, IT-BPO and Renewable Energy sectors, he added.
“We will be presenting specific recommendations that can be acted on by industry stakeholders, government agencies, Congress and other institutions, as well as by the provincial government and concerned local government units,” Coscolluela said.
One key message will be "It can not be business-as-usual", he added*CPG.
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