By HENRY EMPEÑO
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — Central Luzon is now being eyed as an ideal destination for Taiwanese investments under Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy that seeks enhanced economic cooperation with the ASEAN, as well as countries in South Asia and Australasia.
Speaking in the recent Philippine Investment Promotion Plan (PIPP) Investment Roadshow to Taiwan, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Administrator Wilma Eisma urged Taiwanese businessmen in Taipei and Taichung City to consider the so-called Central Luzon Manufacturing and Logistics Zone (CMLZ) as a prime investment destination.
Eisma said that the CMLZ, which is composed of Clark Freeport, Subic Bay Freeport, and the Freeport Area of Bataan, has ample space for manufacturing with its land area of more than 90,000 hectares, superb perks for businesses, and is managed by agencies that have come together as one unit.
“Together we have worked closely to maximize our potential as one manufacturing and logistics zone. By joining forces, we now offer you many advantages,” she told businessmen.
Eisma said the foremost advantage of locating in CMLZ is its strategic location, as the area “is a critical entry point to the ASEAN region populated by some 650 million people, as well as a natural gateway to East Asian economies such as China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea.”
She added that the CMLZ is at the crossroads of international shipping and air lanes, and accessible to the ASEAN region within three to four hours by plane via the Clark International Airport and four days by ship to and from the Port of Subic.
Another advantage, Eisma pointed out, lies in the developed infrastructure support at CMLZ like the eight passenger airlines with international and domestic flights, as well as four cargo operators in Clark and the 10 shipping lines that call at Subic’s various sea ports.
Eisma likewise cited the 93.77-kilometer Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, which connects Clark and Subic, thus enabling a faster and more efficient logistics and supply chain system for business locators and tourists.
“These developed infrastructures enhance our strategic location and internal supply chain systems,” she said, adding that the combination of these infrastructures “presents a workable business platform for foreign businesses engaged in the manufacturing, as well as industrial estate development, shipbuilding, aviation and aerospace, and business process outsourcing.”
The SBMA CEO also said the free ports in the CMLZ provide generous tax and fiscal incentives, ample supply of talented and skilled labor, service utilities for industries and businesses, secured corridor without traffic congestion, and enviable live-work-play environment that makes it ideal for expatriate workers, as well as residents and their families.
She added that the CMLZ is perfect for targeted key industries like electronics, automotive parts and aerospace products for Clark; shipbuilding and maritime industries, including cruise ships for Subic; and high-end garments manufacturing for Bataan.
The Taiwan investment roadshow was organized by the PIPP, an aggrupation of 19 investments agencies that seeks to create quality jobs by attracting high-impact, innovative, and inclusive investments.
The Philippine delegation was headed by Chairman Angelito Banayo of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office, and included Eisma, Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Industry Development Group, retired Ambassador Antonio Basilio, and Dir. Erlinda Pamintuan of the Subic-Clark Alliance for Development.
The SBMA is one of the seven investment promotion agencies that make up the manufacturing and logistics/IT-BPM cluster of the IPP.
PHOTO: SBMA Administrator Wilma Eisma speaks before Taiwanese businessmen in the recent Philippine Investment Forum in Taipei