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SoKor investors urged to locate in Central Luzon

Tarlac Governor and Central Luzon Growth Corridor Foundation Inc. President Susan Yap briefs Korean investors about the competitive advantages that make Region 3 the perfect place to set up their businesses. (BCDA Photo)

A delegation from Central Luzon recently held an outbound business mission to entice South Korean investors and introduce Region 3, including New Clark City, as an ideal destination for their investment needs. 

Hosted by the Central Luzon Growth Corridor Foundation Inc. (CLGCFI), the Central Luzon Outbound Trade and Investment Mission to Korea gave local government units (LGUs) and investment promotion agencies in the region the opportunity to establish linkages with Korean companies and benchmark best practices from industry experts.

The contingent was joined by representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), Authority of the Freeport of Bataan, and the LGUs of Aurora, Bataan, Tarlac and Zambales.

As part of the trade mission, the delegation held a conference with potential investors where Tarlac Governor and CLGCFI President Susan Yap touted Central Luzon as one of the leading growth areas in the Philippines. 

Yap also listed the reasons why Region 3 is the perfect place for South Korean companies to expand their businesses. 

“First, the centrality of our location. It is easily accessible within two- to four-hour air travel from Korea. Expanding infrastructure—it’s on its way becoming a single, contiguous geographic and economic growth corridor providing world-class logistics, infrastructure and services. Available investment locations—we have several freeport zones,” she said. 

DTI Undersecretary for Industry Development and Trade Policy Ceferino S. Rodolfo said that the Philippines is an ideal regional hub for “sustainable and innovation-driven agriculture, manufacturing and services sectors,” citing the country’s sound economic fundamentals and investment ratings, and game-changing laws and policies. 

“With an already strong partnership, the Philippines and South Korea can further level its complementation on the vast opportunities brought about by global disruptions. The Philippines–one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies, is ready for global investors,” he stressed.

Central Luzon’s next frontier of development

Among the freeport zones highlighted during the trade mission was New Clark City in Tarlac, a smart, sustainable, green city poised to be a significant economic growth driver in Central Luzon.

BCDA Vice President for Public Affairs Leilani Macasaet encouraged Korean investors to consider locating in New Clark City or participating in future projects and developments in the area.

“Clark raises the standard of what cities should be in a country that has been aspiring for a high-quality environment where people can live, learn, work, and play. We hope for you to be part of this development,” Macasaet said.

BCDA also met with potential locators who are exploring opportunities in New Clark City, particularly in the fields of housing and smart technologies.

Delegates from the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) meet with Korean investors expressing interest in New Clark City.

Strengthened relations

Hailing from Central Luzon, herself, Philippine Ambassador to the Republic of Korea Maria Theresa Dizon-De Vega attested to the attractive features of Central Luzon, which she dubbed as a “super region” close to Metro Manila. 

“It is home to dynamic provinces and the region combines the advantages of international airports, seaports, industrial zones and agricultural areas, as well as tourism and leisure sites, including a well-connected road network,” the ambassador said. 

Dizon-De Vega expressed hope that the trade mission would strengthen the business, investment, and travel relations between South Korea and Region 3 in the Philippines.

CLGCFI is mandated to provide policy decisions and to facilitate the planning, coordination, and monitoring of investment and trade-related projects of Central Luzon. Its members include the provincial governors of Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales; the Department of Trade Undersecretary for Industry and Investments, and the Department of Trade and Industry-3 Regional Director.