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Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (MPD-SBMA)

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14 December 2017

Subic Freeport eyes major investments from US groups

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is now aiming to tap Filipino-American companies and private groups in the United States to gain fresh key investment packages for the industrial and maritime sectors in the Subic Bay Freeport.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma, who joined a trade mission organized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), said she has met with several prospective investors from the Federation of Philippine American Chambers of Commerce (FPACC) during a week-long swing among key business centers from the East Coast to the West Coast last month.



The FPACC, which has 42 chapters in the United States and around 5,000 member-companies, bridges U.S.-Philippines trade and commerce, and promotes goodwill and mutually beneficial projects between the two countries. It renewed its memorandum of understanding with the PCCI on Nov. 11 in a ceremony in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“It’s a very promising situation as far as the FPACC members are concerned, and we have at least two major investment prospects and two port agreements as a result of the trip,” Eisma said.

“We are looking forward to more engagement with these interested parties so that we can finally clinch a business deal with them,” she added.

Eisma said that an estimated $1-billion investment is being considered by an American-Chinese venture to develop a portion of the Redondo Peninsula in Subic for a possible industrial, maritime and mixed-use complex that will generate more jobs and economic opportunities for the country.



Aside from this, Eisma said that a company based in California is also planning a $20-million investment for a waste-to-energy project and related renewable energy projects in the Subic Bay Freeport.

During the trade mission, Eisma also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Virginia Port Authority CEO and Executive Director John Reinhart to facilitate Subic’s strategic objective of expanding its global network and promote the growth of trade and commerce between the two ports.

In Los Angeles, meanwhile, Eisma worked out an agreement with Trade Development Director Jim MacLellan of the Los Angeles Port Authority for the sharing of expertise in port development, particularly break-bulk shipping and cruise ship terminal operation.


An MOU is set to be signed in March 2018 to jumpstart this initiative, Eisma added.

The SBMA chief also announced that two technical supervisors from Google, which operates the Internet’s most utilized search engine, will visit the Subic Bay Freeport in June 2018 to conduct robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) seminars for students in and around the Subic community as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) program.

Eisma said this will be a significant development, as the SBMA plans to eventually develop in Subic a center of excellence in this field.

Trade Commissioner Celynne Layug of the Philippine Trade Investment Center in San Francisco has reportedly suggested another trade mission in March 2018 to promote the Subic Bay Freeport among businessmen in San Francisco and key cities in the West Coast.

Meanwhile, in the course of the business mission, the SBMAS chief was interviewed by two local media outfits—one based in Chicago on Nov. 11, and another in Arizona on Nov. 12 during the PCCI- FPACC event. Both interviews focused on the Subic Bay Freeport success story and the economic miracle created here in the last 25 years.

In Chicago, Eisma was also chosen by a publication as finalist in the “Chicago Filipino-Asian American Hall of Fame Award in Government.” Among the past awardees in its list was former Environment Secretary Gina Lopez. (HEE/MPD-SBMA)

PHOTOS:

[1] SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma discusses business opportunities in infrastructure and energy in the Subic Bay Freeport to prospective investors from the Federation of Philippine American Chambers of Commerce during a recent Philippine trade mission to the United States

[2] SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma, along with SBMA Seaport Marketing manager Ronnie Yambao (right), discusses expansion plans for the Port of Subic with Los Angeles Port Authority Trade Development Director Jim MacLellan during a recent Philippine trade mission to the United States

[3] SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma receives a symbolic key to Virginia Beach from Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr. during a recent Philippine trade mission to the United States.

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