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Zamboanga ecozone investments hit $695M

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - January 4, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Investments in the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority (Zamboecozone) Freeport went up slightly in the January to November period compared to the previous year.

Data from the Zamboecozone showed investments of locators in the ecozone reached $694.67 million in the 11-month period in 2014, an increase of 1.41 percent from the $685 million invested in the same period in 2013.

Zamboecozone market specialist Alfonso Basilio Marquez said in an email the ecozone had seven new locators for the 11-month period namely: Gabmar Manpower Agency Inc.; Leadership Manpower Services Inc.; Eco Bottling Enterprises (water bottling factory); AML Fastfood; A. Tung Chingco Manufacturing Corp. (warehousing of Ligo Sardines and other canned products); New Traditions Agri Farm and Trading (cassava and banana plantation); and AHS Agri-aqua Ventures (cacao plantation and nursery).

At present, the ecozone has 20 registered locators engaged in various businesses such as power, water, raw material processing, food processing, food concessionaires and manpower services.

Alfonso said the ecozone expects new locators as 19 firms are currently in different stages of registration with total investment commitments amounting to P280 million ($6.242 million).

Meanwhile, exports from the ecozone rose 34.37 percent to $4.793 million as of end-November 2014 from $3.567 million in the same period in 2013.

Zamboecozone chairperson and administrator Christopher Lawrence Arnuco had previously reported that total exports from the ecozone are expected to surge by 150 percent in 2014 from the previous year as new firms set up facilities and existing locators expand operations.

In 2013, total exports from the ecozone reached $3.68 million, well-above the $1.048 million in 2012.

The Zamboecozone, which covers more than 16,000 hectares, aims to position itself as the center of halal industries in the country amid global demand for halal processed food and beverage as well as other products and services.

Halal is the prescribed process of preparation of products according to Islamic law.

In line with its aim to position itself as the country’s halal hub, the Zamboecozone has designated a 100-hectare area for halal processing and manufacturing companies.

Apart from being the country’s halal center, the Zamboecozone also wants to become the region’s manufacturing and processing hub with focus on value-adding to products such as rubber, seaweeds, coconut, processed fish, mango and abaca.

ALFONSO BASILIO MARQUEZ CHRISTOPHER LAWRENCE ARNUCO ECO BOTTLING ENTERPRISES ECOZONE GABMAR MANPOWER AGENCY INC LEADERSHIP MANPOWER SERVICES INC LIGO SARDINES MILLION NEW TRADITIONS AGRI FARM AND TRADING TUNG CHINGCO MANUFACTURING CORP ZAMBOECOZONE
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