Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Monday, August 04, 2008

Subic investments down 84% to $212M in 1st half

New investments for 94 projects approved by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) went down by 84.64 percent to $212 million in the first half of this year.

The 94 new projects recorded from January to June this year are expected to generate up to 3,588 new jobs in the area.

"The creation of new jobs is a big boost to government efforts to stem rising unemployment in the Central Luzon region," SBMA administrator Armand Arreza said yesterday.

The first half figure brings to $5.7 billion the cumulative investment inflow into the free port zone.

"More than 90 percent of the new projects that passed the review of the SBMA board are FDIs (foreign direct investments) coming from Norway, Canada, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, US, Taiwan, and Pakistan," Arreza said.

"It is also notable that about 90 percent of the total investment pledges came from the top 10 biggest projects, and these include two Filipino-owned firms," he added.

SBMA records show that Korean firms once more dominated the field in terms of investment value, with five of the companies in the top 10 occupying the first three slots.

Korean resort developer and operator Subic Neocove Corp., which pledged $175 million in April for a 500-hectare resort and golf course project at Subic's Redondo Peninsula, emerged as the biggest new investor.

Neocove's investment represented about 82 percent of the total for the first half.

The next biggest investors are Korean construction firm Hanil E&C Subic Inc., which will design, plan and build medium- to high-rise commercial and residential buildings, with committed investments of $11 million; Hanafil Golf & Tour, Inc., a joint Korean-Filipino venture for the operation of golf, tour and recreational facilities, with $3 million; Palmgold Int'l Ltd., a Malaysian company that will import gaming equipment and operate a slot-machine arcade, with $1.93 million; and Grand Pillar International Development, Inc., a Taiwanese real estate developer, with $1.9 million.

Other top investors are Buma Subic Development and Management Corp., another Korean-Filipino business to operate a seafood restaurant, wellness spa, travel agency and merchandise trading, with investments of $1.5 million; the World HDGD Federation Philippine Association, a Filipino firm that will develop a training facility with health facilities, with $1.22 million; and Philkor Utopia Corp., a Korean firm that will put up a hotel and restaurant, spa, grocery and souvenir shop, and travel and tour services, with $1.2 million.

Tied in at the ninth spot with $800,000 worth of investments each are three firms: Filipino-owned Janburlai Corp., which will operate a tollway service facility along the Subic portion of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway; Pakistani-controlled M. Waseem International Corp., which will engage in printing press operation, as well as in import-export and transshipment of various products and equipment; and the Taiwanese firm Ta Zon (Phils) Color Paper Corp., which will import, manufacture, assemble, print and export various packaging materials.

Another Korean company occupied the tail-end of the top investors list: Kumboindustry Corp., which will engage in steel fabrication and production works for the Korean shipbuilder HHIC-Phil, with investments worth $725,000.

Arreza also said that in terms of investment value by nationality, Filipino-owned firms were second only to Korean companies during the first half of 2008 with total investments worth $6.5 million. - Bebot Sision Jr.With Elisa Osorio/Philstar

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