Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

P20-B new investments to flow into Clark ecozone

Some P20 billion worth of new investments is expected to flow into the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) this year following the expected signing into law by President Arroyo, possibly in the next two weeks, of the recently passed bicameral approved bill restoring the incentives of the CSEZ and elevating the zone into a Freeport, according to Clark Development Corp. (CDC) president and chief executive officer Levy Laus.

In an interview with The STAR, Laus expressed his relief and jubilation over the approval and passage by the legislative Bicameral Committee of a bill that finally restores the incentives of CSEZ and elevates the status of the ecozone into a Freeport at par with the Subic Freeport.

"I am extremely jubilant with the bill which will restore the incentives of the CSEZ and elevate the status of Clark to a Freeport at par with Subic," Laus said.

The CDC head admitted that last year "it was difficult to bring in investors because of the uncertainty caused by the Supreme Court decision."

The SC had ruled that the CSEZ was not entitled to grant incentives, effectively stripping CSEZ locators of their tax and duty free incentives.

Laus said that with the expected signing into law, possibly in the next two weeks of the Bicameral approved bill, the CDC is expecting the entry of some "big ticket" investors.

Laus admitted that the CDC is already talking with at least nine interested parties.

However, Laus refused to give details on the potential investors as the negotiations are still quite early.

He admitted though that among the interested investors are Korean and Filipinos with some foreign partners.

Up for development, Laus said, are big tracts of land suitable for golf courses, retirement villages, hotel and casinos and entertainment centers.

For tourism and leisure development, Laus said, the CDC has some 320 hectares available out of the total 800 hectares earmarked for that purpose and part of which is already developed.
By MARIANNE GO - The Philippine Star

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