21 July 2010

Subic ties up with China ecozone

This free port is firming up ties with a counterpart economic zone in Suzhou city in Jiangsu, southern China, particularly in the fields of tourism, real estate development and business process outsourcing (BPO).

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) said in a statement yesterday that it recently hosted a trade and investment mission from the Suzhou Wuzhong Economic Development Zone.

A presentation on Subic’s investment policy and plans was conducted by SBMA Senior Deputy Administrator (SDA) for trade and tourism Stefani C. SaƱo, SDA for legal affairs Ramon O. Agregado and SBMA investment department head Kenneth G. Rementilla.

The visit was facilitated by Subic-based housing developer Grand Pillar International Development, Inc. Chairman Johnson Yang and Chief Operating Officer Josephine Chua.

The SBMA statement quoted Yu Xingnan, head of the delegation, as saying Subic Bay Freeport could be an ideal location for China firms engaged in BPO, noting the availability of skilled, English-proficient workers.

He added that this free port could be used as a transshipment hub for China-made products that are exported throughout the world, citing its strategic post in the Pacific region.

For his part, SBMA Administrator and CEO Armand C. Arreza said the state firm is promoting Subic as a haven for foreign retirees from Japan, US, Australia, Canada and China.

"We are presently developing a large area in Subic...to accommodate the growing needs of retirement homes for foreigners," Grand Pillar’s Ms. Chua said.

Mr. Yu also said Wuzhong and Subic could also be partners in tourism-related ventures that will require direct chartered-flights between them. He said Wuzhong will be actively engaged in IT development, as well as in tourism by developing the new South Suzhou Trade Circle and the Taihu Lake National Tourism Resort. (RMG, BusinessWorld)