Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Taiwanese businessmen pledge over $1 billion

Taiwanese firms have pledged $1.159 billion worth of multi-year investments in the Philippines’ electronics, manufacturing, and power industries, the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) said in a statement Monday .

The five-year rent holiday awarded to locators in the Clark and Subic special economic zones investing at least $25 million for high-technology industries has increased investors’ interest, the statement quoted Dita Angara-Mathay, MECO director for commercial affairs, as saying.

Bulk of the projected amount will flow into the power-generation sector, with Formosa Heavy Industries and Redondo Peninsula Energy Inc. investing a total of $1.12 billion in separate projects. Taiwan-based Formosa Heavy Industries will spend $700 million to build coal-fired plants in Toledo, Cebu and La Paz, Iloilo, with production capacities of 246 megawatts and 140 megawatts, respectively. Construction, which began last January, should be completed by 2010, MECO said.

Redondo Peninsula Energy Inc., a joint venture between Aboitiz Power and Taiwan Cogeneration Corp., is building a 300-megawatt coal-fired plant in Luzon worth $420 million. The first phase of the project is scheduled to be completed by 2011.

A total of $32 million will be invested in the electronics industry, MECO added. Great-Sun Optoelectronics, a maker of flat LCD screens, pledged to bring in $30 million over the next three years, while RayShine Photonics pledged $2 million to build a manufacturing plant for light-emitting diodes, a part used for LCD screens.

MECO also said that manufacturing firms Fwu Kuang Enterprises Co. Ltd. and South Forest Co. Ltd. will invest a total of $7 million.

Fwu Kuang Enterprises will be intially investing $5 million to build a factory for screws. It will be raising its investments to $10 million in the next three years, MECO said, adding that the firm has signed a five-year lease agreement to locate to a 2.5-hectare area in Clark.

South Forest will build a $2-million wood processing plant in San Franciso, Agusan del Sur.

There are 190 Taiwanese firms operating in the country’s economic zones, MECO said.

Still, central bank data shows actual investments from Taiwan amounting to only $6.54 million in the first half. Taiwan had invested $90,000 last year, almost 90% less than the $1.02 million in 2006. — Jessica Anne D. Hermosa, BusinessWorld

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