The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) recently approved new investment projects worth a total of $57.74 million, as this free port continues to beat the odds of the global economic downturn and attract fresh capital infusion from both foreign and Filipino investors.
In ceremonies at the conference hall of the Subic Bay Development and Management Corp. on Wednesday, SBMA chairman Feliciano Salonga and SBMA administrator Armand Arreza formally signed in 17 new projects in four different industry sectors here.
These included six new projects in leisure industry worth a total of $ 53.59 million, three in manufacturing and maritime with total investments of $1.3 million, three in general business at a total of $266,274, and five in logistics with a total of $2.57 million.
According to Arreza, the latest additions to Subic’s growing business community “only proves the resiliency of the Subic Bay Freeport in attracting new investors despite the global economic crisis.”
He added that as of August this year, 65 new accounts have been added by the agency to the list of investor firms here that totaled 948 at the end of 2008.
Arreza also said that most of the 17 new investment contracts were signed by new business locators, while a few were by existing Subic firms that opted to expand operations.
The biggest investment commitments in this latest batch of approved projects is the P2.5-billion (about $50 million) commitment by Ocean Nine Philkor, Inc., a South Korean firm involved in the development and operation of hotels, casinos and resorts.
The firm, under its short-term plan, will be renovating a hotel complex in Subic’s Cubi area to start its hotel and casino operation by January 2010, Ocean Nine manager Charles Kim said during the contract-signing ceremony.
The second biggest project in this batch is the P70-million construction of a four-story hotel and expansion of a dining facility by Innasia Corp., which operates Courtyard Inn in this free port. This is followed by the P50-million expansion of Puregold Duty Free (Subic) Corp., and the $1-million project of Lionair Subic Philippines, Inc. for the servicing and maintenance of fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft here.
The new investors whose project proposals were approved by the SBMA under the leisure sector are: Aggressive North Developers, Inc., with P30 million for hotel and restaurant operation; Goltongne Subic, Corp., $368,333 for a restaurant and gift shop; Innasia, P70 million; LG Digital Plaza, Inc., P11.25 million for an authentic Ilonggo restaurant, wholesale and retail operations, and import/export services; Ocean Nine, P2.5 billion; and Puregold Duty Free, P50 million.
Under the manufacturing and maritime sector, the new projects are: Consummare, Inc., with $562,478 for the production of specialty wood products; Pacific Metal Works Corp., for steel fabrication; and Shang Min Construction Corp., $580,000 for trading of construction-related materials and equipment.
Under general business, the new locators are: Golden AI Trucking, with committed investments of $215,074; I Will Communicate, Inc., $30,000; and M&M Subic Bay Development Corp., $21,200.
Meanwhile, five new investments were approved under the logistics sector: Food Entrepreneur and Exporters of the Phil., with $470,000 for trading in grains and meat products; Lionair Subic, $1 million; Omni Aviation Corp., $700,000; Solutions Advancing Global Enterprise International Import-Export Corp., $300,000; and Subic Bay Merlion Trading, Inc., with P5 million for the transshipment of wines and liquors.
In the same occasion, SBMA Chairman Feliciano Salonga thanked the new business locators “for having confidence in the Subic Bay Freeport”, and vowed the agency’s full support and cooperation. (SBMA Corporate Communications)
SBMA Chairman Feliciano Salonga (3rd from right, second row) and SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza (7th from left, second row) join representatives of new investor-companies at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone after a mass contract-signing on Wednesday.