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Gensan City Chamber leads 'Strategic Planning Workshop' to boost local business

The General Santos City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (GSCCCII), in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) Urban Connect project has taken the lead in a strategic planning workshop aimed at molding the future landscape of business in the city and its surrounding areas.

Held at the Greenleaf Hotel on January 20, the workshop convened over 30 chamber officers, board members, and city officials.

Miguel Rene Dominguez, the former governor of Sarangani and current president of GSCCCII, affirmed the Chamber's dedication to improving the business climate and boosting initiatives to usher in the needed development, especially for the city.

“We are ready to bounce back from the pains of the pandemic. We will strategize on how to survive the next few years, planning for the next 20–30 years to propel Gensan towards progress and competitiveness,” he said.

Experts from the Department of Trade and Industry, the National Economic and Development Authority, the local government unit (LGU) of General Santos City, the SOCCSKSARGEN Federation of Fishing and Allied Industries, Inc., and the USAID Urban Connect Project shared the regional development forecast and current economic climate.

They also offered valuable insights on topics such as trade and export, fishery and aquaculture, investment promotion, the city's competitiveness benchmarks, and strategic planning.

As General Santos City progresses towards becoming a significant urban and business hub, GSCCCII has also acknowledged the importance of cultivating an environment that stimulates further investments and promotes inclusive growth.

In pursuit of this objective, the Chamber, with the backing of the USAID Urban Connect Project, initiated the strategic planning workshop to outline short- to medium-term objectives and strategic plans, identify organizational development needs and strategies, evaluate the city's challenges and opportunities, and determine potential areas for collaboration.

With a forward-looking approach, the Chamber has committed to augmenting and broadening its services for members, fostering collaboration with local government and organizations, championing policies that bolster local business growth, and persistently advocating for General Santos as an attractive investment destination.

Since its inception in 1974, GSCCCII has been a staunch advocate for vigorous economic growth and a pillar of support for the local business community. It boasts a diverse membership of 176, spanning sectors such as manufacturing, real estate and construction, agriculture and livestock, education, health, and professional services.

Meanwhile, the support provided to the Gensan Chamber by USAID Urban Connect formed a crucial part of a wider initiative designed to fortify the partnership between local government units and the private sector in promoting investments and to encourage collaboration between chambers across various cities and municipalities. 

"USAID is proud to support GSCCCII's steadfast efforts to position General Santos City as a leader in business in the region. The strategic planning workshop is a testament to the Chamber's unwavering dedication to nurturing rapid growth and prosperity in the city and aligns closely with the goals of the USAID Urban Connect activity—to enhance local economic development and public service delivery," said USAID Urban Connect Chief of Party Alex Brillantes Jr., describing the move as a strategy aimed to enhance vital value chains and elevate micro, small, and medium enterprises.

The USAID Urban Connect Project is a five-year initiative funded by USAID that aims to foster inclusive and resilient economic growth in secondary cities in the Philippines, including General Santos.

The project provides technical assistance, promotes e-government solutions, improves the local regulatory environment for private investment, and focuses on capacity-building initiatives. Its ultimate goal is to enhance local economic development, improve public service delivery, and support inclusive development through better governance, economic growth, and resilience in secondary cities.(Genory Vanz Alfasain/Sarangani Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc.)

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