Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Friday, June 20, 2008

Taiwanese operations in Subic, Clark to enjoy free rent

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT - Taiwanese technology companies will enjoy rent-free privileges once they establish operations in Subic and Clark economic zones.

Philippine officials, led by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Thomas Aquino, approved the incentive package as part of government initiatives to attract investors.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Administrator Armand Arreza said that “high tech companies engaged in (software and IC) design and biotech companies with a minimum investment of $25 milllion" are eligible for the privilege.

For their part, Taiwanese trade officials, headed by Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Hsieh Fa-dah, will assist Philippine tourism organizations in promoting the country as a destination for Taiwanese tourists.

These trade initiatives are part of an agreement signed during the 15th ROC-Philippines Joint Economic Conference held in Taiwan last June 12-14. Drafted two years ago, the agreement will link economic zones in Subic and Clark to Taiwan’s technology parks.

Taiwan also agreed to send more experts to the Philippines to assist in training integrated circuit designers, according to the agreement.

Taiwanese investors is the second biggest investing group in Subic Bay, after South Korean and Japan.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs’ statistics show that 79 Taiwanese companies have invested a total of $780 million in Subic Bay. Another Taiwan-based firms have invested a total of $360 million in the Clark Special Economic Zone.

Trade volumes between the two countries reached $7.2 billion in 2007, with Taiwan enjoying a surplus of $2.6 billion. In terms of value, Taiwan is the Philippines’ eighth-largest trading partner. Meanwhile, the Philippines is Taiwan’s 14th trading partner by value.

Beginning August 1, Taiwanese companies that manufacture products in either zone will also enjoy reduced tariffs in both the Philippines and the ASEAN Free Trade Area under the association's Common Effective Preferential Tariff scheme. - John Bayarong, GMANews.TV

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