(SBMA senior deputy administrator for business and investment Renato W. Lee III (middle) and Karen Magno, OIC-manager of the business and investment department for manufacturing and maritime, confer with Taiwanese investors during the 2019 Philippine Business Forum in Taipei. Photo by Malou Dungog)
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – More Taiwan-based companies are now setting their sights on this premier free port, with eight firms expressing interest to invest here after talks with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) officials in the recent Philippine Investment Forum held in Taipei.
SBMA chair and administrator Wilma T. Eisma, who presented investment and business opportunities in the Subic Bay Freeport during the forum, said two Taiwanese companies had so far committed a total of $9 million in investments right away.
These are FTI Holdings Group (Milagros International Inc.), which plans to invest $6 million in Subic and to hire 600 workers within the year, and Grey Matter Industries Group, which had committed to invest $3 million and hire 200 workers.
FTI Group designs, manufactures and sells luggage, fashion handbags and backpacks, apparel and apparel accessories, outdoor products and pet products and accessories which are sold in the United States.
Eisma said FTI’s chief auditor, Paul Lee, already inspected a prospective factory site in Subic’s Tipo area on April 30, and will conduct another inspection with other company officials next month to finalize the new business venture.
Meanwhile, Grey Matter Industries Group, which is engaged in the manufacture of PET bottles, plastic films and other plastic products, has already sent the SBMA a letter of intent on April 29, Eisma added.
More than 250 Taiwanese investors attended the April 24-26 Taipei trade roadshow organized by the Philippine Investment Promotion Plan (PIPP) in coordination with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC)-Taipei, the commercial affairs section of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO).
The forum showcased investment and business opportunities for Taiwanese industry players who are repositioning their strategy in light of the recent global trade and economic developments and conflicts between major global markets.
Eisma said that in the Taipei trade roadshow, six other Taiwanese firms expressed interest to locate in the Subic Bay Freeport and the Subic agency is now in touch with them to firm up investment plans here.
Among the prospective investors are Rong Shin Industrial Co., Ltd., which is recognized as the world’s leading manufacturer of lawn and garden power tool muffler system; Catcher Technology Co., Ltd., which is a major supplier of Taiwanese computer giant Wistron; Primax Electronic Ltd., which manufactures computer peripherals and accessories for the Taiwan, China and the United States markets; CDStar Co., Ltd., manufacturer of Skechers, Keen, Clarks, Asics, Salomon and Novi shoes; and Ya Horng Electronics Co., Ltd., producer of electrical appliances and audio-visual electronic products for the US, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, and France.
Another prospective investor is Sagittarius Sporting Good Co., Ltd., (Xiamen Feipeng Industry Co. Ltd.), a manufacturer of sports and protective equipment, which said it intends to produce fishing and sports inflatable boats in Subic.
Eisma said most of the incoming Taiwanese investors will locate at the Tipo area, which is being developed by the SBMA as a major industrial site.