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Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (MPD-SBMA)

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27 December 2008

SBMA approves new investments worth $87.6-M

While financial slowdown has affected the global economy, this free port continues to welcome into its fold both foreign and local investors bullish about business potentials in this premier commercial, industrial and tourism center.

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) signed contracts with 34 locator companies that committed a total of US$87.63 million in fresh investments.

SBMA Chairman Feliciano Salonga and Administrator Armand Arreza, who signed the new business contracts at the Subic Bay Gateway Park here, said the fresh capital infusions were for 28 new projects and four expansion programs.

The newly-approved investments will generate about 1,000 new jobs once operational.

"This is a very challenging time that we face, but despite negative news in the financial market, the SBMA continues to be optimistic as it continues to make the entire Subic Freeport more competitive," Arreza said.

"By continuously upgrading our facilities and infrastructure, which are very critical in the growth of every business, we make Subic a better and more effective investment haven," he added.

Leading the new batch of investors in terms of committed investments is Puregold Duty Free, which will start a $50-million expansion program for its duty-free retailing business in Subic.

Next are Sultan Ahmed Lootah Enterprise Corp., which is infusing $6.72 million for its corrugated cartons and duplex boards manufacturing plant; Pacific Ocean Underwater Solutions, Corp. ($5 million), which will provide various underwater services like repair and construction, salvaging and photography, as well as purifying and maintaining fishing fields; and Samahophir Corp. (also $5 million) for the manufacture, fabrication, installation, and repair of big doors for Hanjin projects.

Other new players in the manufacturing area are: Cheongwa Subic, Corp., which is investing $4.312 million in the manufacturing, import/export, assembly and fabrication of steel frames related to shipbuilding; Australasia Marine Alliance Corp. ($2.32 million), manufacturing of boats and other marine–related products and components; TECO Phils 3C and Appliances, Inc. ($1 million), for the importation and exportation of home appliances; and Ixion Corp., $800,000, for the importation and distribution of petroleum products.

In the tourism-related sector, several companies have signed in to engage in the operation and construction of leisure and recreational establishments: Magspeak, Inc., $1.1 million; World HDGD, $1.1 million; Janburlai Corp., $800,000; Freeport Skyworld, Inc., $640,000; and Molawinville Corp., $500,000.

In the warehousing and storage sector, the MSK Group Work Inc. will infuse $2.85 million, while Ocean Coast Shipping, Inc, will bring in $350,000 for a business in bunkering, brokerage, and other port services.

Arreza said the Subic Bay Freeport is now home to about 1,200 companies employing more than 85,000 workers. Total committed investments by these businesses have reached $6 billion.

"We are hoping to further increase these figures by the end of this year. With these new investments, we are very confident that Subic will reach new record levels," he said.

Meanwhile, Lawrence Lusung of the Bank of Commerce, which has also signed in as a new locator, said Subic is "one of the most dynamic places for business in the country."

"Bank of Commerce believes that for a bank to become one of the top financial institutions in the country, it must have a place here in Subic where great opportunities await every investor," Lusung said.

Pateek Tiwari of ED & F Commodities Phils., Inc., which will engage in the warehousing and storage of bio-fuels and other liquid products, meanwhile said the investor-friendly policies of the SBMA remains to be the main attraction of Subic. (SBMA Corporate Communications)

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