Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Q1 investments boost Subic’s new projects to $6B

SUBIC BAY FREE PORT—Investment projects approved by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) in the first three months of this year brought cumulative investment commitments in the Subic Bay Free Port to $6 billion.
SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza said the agency signed in 33 new projects in the first quarter of 2010, a 10-percent increase over the number of investments approved in the same period last year.

The new projects, worth a total of $73.56 million, are expected to produce a total of 6,071 new jobs, Arreza said.

Leading last quarter’s batch of projects in terms of committed investment is Subic Bay Town Center Inc. (SBTCI), a Filipino-owned company, which has pledged $36.42 million for the development of a commercial center here.

Following SBTCI are Aviation Composites Philippines, a German-British joint venture, with $15 million for a project in aviation repair and maintenance services; Fertuna Holdings Corp., a Filipino firm, which pledged $5.36 million for the development of two-level commercial buildings; Filipino-owned Holy Land Subic Foundation Inc., with $5.34 million for the development of a theme park; and Filipino firm San Bernardino Shores Beach Resort Corp., with $2.2 million for hotel operation.

Completing the list of top 10 new investors are Advance Subic Screw Inc. (Taiwanese), with $1.5 million; CW-Subic Bay Devt. Inc. (Filipino), $1.49 million; Aviation Concepts Holdings (American/Canadian), $1.1 million; Misung Subic Inc., (Chinese/Canadian/Filipino), $1 million; and MCOM Subic Corp. (Taiwanese), with $867,000.

In an announcement, Arreza expressed hope that the $73-million investment generated in the first three months of the year “would set the pace for the entire year.”

“But definitely, this is already a good start as the free port seems to be bouncing back from the effects of the global financial crisis from the previous year,” Arreza said.

Figures from the SBMA also indicated that the new projects approved in the first quarter of 2010 surpassed the previous year’s first-quarter record of $31.74 million by $41.82 million, or an increase of 131.78 percent.

The Subic agency managed to boost investments generation, Arreza added, “despite the fact that total Subic investments dipped by 17.11 percent at the end of 2009 when compared to the $249.08 million generated in 2008.”

With the $73.56 million new infusions, the SBMA “will be moving right on target” to attain its aim of hitting $8 billion in cumulative investments at the end of 2010, Arreza said.

Subic’s optimistic outlook is anchored on solid performance by the SBMA in investment generation in the past five years after Arreza took over as administrator, along with Feliciano Salonga as chairman.

While Subic’s cumulative investments stood at only $2.32 billion in 2005, the agency started to sign in a total of $3.7 billion in committed investments, including big-ticket projects like the Korean shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries Corp.-Philippines, now Subic’s biggest at $1.7 billion.

SBMA officials also pointed out that despite the global economic slowdown in the past two years, SBMA attracted a total of 201 new projects worth $206.46 million in 2009 and a total of 185 new projects worth $249 million in 2008.

Arreza said the SBMA would make a follow-through this year with three billion-dollar investments in real-estate development.

These prospective investments would also realize SBMA’s plans to expand its operations and bring development into contiguous areas like Olongapo City, Subic town in Zambales, and Morong town in Bataan. Written by Henry Empeño / Correspondent businessmirror.com.ph

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