AFAB secures P6.2-B investment pledges in 2015

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MARIVELES, Bataan The Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) has lured over Php 6.2 billion in investment commitments in 2015, as the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB) becomes the emerging economic dragon of the country.

The AFAB secured 28 new business projects worth Php 6,228,299,979.30. The investment pledges were poured into the industries of manufacturing, business process outsourcing (BPO) and information technology (IT), tourism and power.

Major locators include a manufacturer of high-end bag accessories, a food processing firm and corporations with businesses related to renewable energy projects and tourism development. Moreover, the LKY Resorts and Hotels, Inc. also opened the first four-star hotel in the freeport, the Oriental Hotel Bataan, after it renovated the historic Hilltop Hotel last year.

Meanwhile, 16 more BPO companies will open in the first IT Technopark in the FAB and in Bataan. The newly registered locators will open at least 4,900 jobs in the next three years.

The FAB has been tagged as the emerging economic dragon of the country after it maintained its status as the fastest growing freeport from 2012 to 2014. Ponciano Manalo Jr., former undersecretary of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Trade and Investment Promotions Group, is also encouraging investors in the garments and leatherwear manufacturing industry to locate in the FAB. In his recent interviews, he emphasized that the FAB’s supply chain and labor force competencies are already established.

There are 114 registered locators in the FAB as of December last year. The enterprises include Korean, Taiwanese, Chinese, American, Japanese, British, Bahrainese, French and German businesses.

The FAB is the emerging fashion manufacturing hub of the Philippines as it possesses a budding cluster of companies producing high-end brands of garments, apparel, shoes and accessories, like bags, jewelry, among others. Its vision is to be the Freeport of choice in the country by 2020, becoming a center of trade, innovation and sustainable development in Asia and promoting work-life balance and global competitiveness.

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