Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Koreans top investors in Subic

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT -- Korean companies have topped the list of investors here, as they pledged about US$198.80-million investments in the first eights months of this year.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Administrator Aramand Arreza said the influx of Korean investors came after the US$1.6 billion investment of shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries Corporation-Philippines in 2006.

"Most of these Korean companies are either suppliers or subcontractors of Hanjin and some are property developers that also target the growing Korean community, not only in Subic, but in other parts of the country," Arreza revealed.

"Subic's biggest new investor so far this year, the Subic Neocove Corporation, is also a Korean company which intends to develop a resort to cater mostly to Korean expatriates," he added.

"Of course, Subic has a good mix of nationalities who have been part of the local business community since the freeport was established in 1992," Arreza said.

Next on the list are Filipino investors with 67 projects worth US$10 million, followed by Taiwanese firms with three projects worth US$2.9 million, and Malaysians with another three proposals amounting to US$2 million.

Among the nationalities that put up new investments here this year are the Taiwanese, Japanese, American, Malaysian, Pakistan, Norwegian, Australian, British, Singaporean and Canadian.

In the same period, the SBMA had approved a total of 130 projects, with projected employment of 5,177.

These increased the number of approved projects here to 1,103, with committed investments totaling US$5.73 billion.

Arreza said for the past three years, Korean firms had topped other nationalities in terms of value of new investment projects.

In 2006, Korean companies put up a total of US$1.36 billion, followed by Filipinos with US$57 million, and Taiwanese with US$9.8 million.

Last year, Koreans were again on the number one rank with US$993 million worth of investments, followed by Filipinos with US$355 million, and Taiwanese with US$222 million. By Anthony Bayarong - SunStar

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