ALI to develop Mindanao ind’l estate
Property giant Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) is building its first industrial estate outside Luzon as part of a mixed-use complex that will rise on its 526-hectare estate in Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental, deemed as the new gateway to Northern Mindanao.
“There’s a resurgence in manufacturing,” ALI president Bernard Vincent Dy said in a recent interview with the Inquirer.
While interest among foreign industrial locators in earlier years was mostly in Luzon due to its proximity to the port of Manila, Dy suggested that new locations were now emerging as good industrial hubs.
In the case of Laguindingan, Dy noted that ALI had an existing landbank while the presence of the Laguindingan airport was very important.
Of Laguindingan Special Economic Zone’s 526 hectares, about 300 hectares are up for initial development.
The application as a special ecozone had been approved by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority and endorsed to Malacañang last May.
Development is ongoing and expected to accelerate in the first half of 2018.
Dy said neighboring countries like Malaysia grew their economy by creating employment, not overseas deployment of human resources. Similarly, he said China’s massive transformation over a 25-year period was primarily due to investments in manufacturing.
As such, he said manufacturing should play a greater role in the Philippine economy.
“We’re getting there,” Dy said. “We’re feeling positive. Hopefully, we can grow the economy by over 6-7 percent (every year).”
The chief of Ayala Land’s parent conglomerate Ayala Corp., Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, is himself an advocate of a renaissance in Philippine manufacturing.
The Ayala group first ventured into industrial estate development because of its manufacturing arm, Integrated Micro-electronics Inc. (IMI).
In 1989, the group built Laguna Technopark in partnership with Japanese firms Mitsubishi and Kawasaki Steel Corp. to meet the massive demand for industrial space. The initial venture covered only 224 hectares that straddled the cities of Sta. Rosa and Biñan in Laguna. Today, the estate has eight phases covering 460 hectares that cater to light and medium, nonpolluting enterprises. It has generated more than 100,000 in direct employment.
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