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Big German firm investing $50M in Batangas plant

/ 05:15 AM July 11, 2017

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said that German firm Knauf Gips KG, the world’s leading manufacturer of gypsum-based plasterboard, is setting up a $50-million plant in Batangas, marking the start of local production for both domestic and overseas markets.

Lopez, who is in Germany, said he has had a meeting with Knauf Gips managing partner Alexander Knauf during his visit to the European country, where he also held a forum on the government’s “Dutertenomics” initiative.

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The trade chief said the investment was in recognition of the fast-growing Philippine market amid the “stability of business environment in the Duterte adminisration” and the quality of the Filipino workforce.

The investment, with initial employment expected to generate 100 direct jobs, is expected to start commercial production in early 2018. Lopez said the company has also provided space for future expansion.

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The group’s investment in the Philippine market marks another addition to the group’s 150 production facilities and sales organizations in more than 60 countries, employing around 26,000 workers.

“DTI and BOI [Board of Investments] committed to provide assistance in documentary requirements and accredited contractors as they aim to commence commercial production toward early 2018,” he said.

In May this year, Knauf Gypsum Philippines, Inc.—a partnership between Knauf Gips KG and Knauf Gypsum Philippines—broke ground for the manufacturing plant within the industrial park of the Udenna Group in Calaca, Batangas.

In a statement last May, Murray Read, CEO of Knauf in Asia and the Pacific, said the investment reflected the company’s confidence in the Philippine economy, noting that they hoped “to contribute to the Philippines’ growth by creating employment opportunities while serving the plasterboard requirement of its booming construction industry.”

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