Bataan freeport, Korean firms sign deal to increase investments
MANILA, Philippines — The Authority of Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) expects to further boost trade and commerce ties with South Korean firms, following the signing of a new deal meant to assure these potential investors of a conducive business environment within the ecozone.
A memorandum of agreement, which was signed by the Korean Chamber of Commerce Philippines Inc. (KCCP) and AFAB, was expected to strengthen cooperation with South Korea as it would help AFAB lure more Korean locators to the freeport.
KCCP president Edward Eun-Gap Chang was quoted in a statement as saying that through this agreement, the KCCP would be able to promote the Freeport Area of Bataan as the top investment destination in the Philippines.
“According to AFAB data, Korean locators in the FAB remain second in the top 10 locators in the freeport in terms of number. But as KCCP takes this new partnership, I am confident that this data will be increased,” Chang explained. “The signing of the agreement shows that we (KCCP officials) are willing to pursue our goal to promote trade and commerce in the FAB for our present and future Korean locators.”
In the same statement, AFAB chairman and administrator Deogracias G.P. Custodio said the new deal would assure both existing Korean locators within the freeport and other prospective investors that their needs and business concerns would be properly addressed by the Authority.
“Hopefully, this (agreement) is the start of a very important partnership. It’s always good for locators to know that they have supporters outside of the Freeport Area of Bataan, people who are willing to advocate their concerns and bring them to the attention of the national government as the need arises,” Custodio explained.
Custodio said the agreement also affirmed AFAB’s commitment to establish more manufacturing centers and generate additional jobs for Bataan residents.
“Manufacturing can play and will play a very big role in ensuring that the growth is felt by the people on the ground and outside of our centers of industry and business in the country,” he further said.
Philippine imports from South Korea grew by 5.3 percent to $4.8 billion as of the end of 2013, form the $4.5 billion recorded the previous year. Exports to South Korea similarly grew 8 percent to $3.1 billion in 2013 from $2.9 billion posted in 2012.
In Bataan, freeport hotel set to open in December
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