Exports position Cebu as major industrial hub
Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - August 16, 2017 - 4:00pm

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu remains as a major hub for industrial operations outside of Luzon, supported by the export sector, property consultancy firm Colliers International said yesterday.

"The demand for industrial space and facilities should be sustained by the continued dynamism of Cebu’s export sector," Colliers said in a report released Wednesday.

From January to June this year, the Philippines’ total exports rose by nearly a fifth to US$31 billion with Cebu a key contributor to the country’s export bill, Colliers said.

"We see Cebu’s export sector being driven by the economic recovery of the Philippines’ top trading partner, the United States; implementation of trade deals with neighboring ASEAN economies and the Eurozone; as well as sustained manufacturing investments from Japan and China," the property consultancy firm said.

"These should contribute to greater absorption of space within Cebu’s industrial parks," it noted.

In Mactan, Cebu particularly, Cebu Light Industrial Park, Mactan Economic Zones 1 and 2 are the three industrial economic zones currently operating in the area.

In general, Colliers said the Philippines continues to attract more foreign and local investments with manufacturing being among the major recipients of fresh equity investments.

This positive trend is attributed to continued investor interest on the back of sound macroeconomic fundamentals.

In its assessment on Cebu's industrial market as of 2016, Pinnacle Real Estate Consulting Services said Metro Cebu's industrial market is very healthy, in fact, the industrial zones in the metropolitan were filled up more than four years ago, well ahead of their counterparts in Luzon.

The firm said Cebu's industrial sector looked a looming winner in terms of potential growth.

At present, there are 27 IT Parks/Centers; seven manufacturing zones; two tourism economic zones; and one agro industrial economic zones.

The total area of economic zones is estimated at 120 hectares.

Pinnacle had said that less than 3 hectares of industrial space was available for lease, or an estimated occupancy of 97.5 percent .

In addition, there are also manufacturers located outside of these economic zones as well.

"Since there are limited available industrial spaces in Metro Cebu, a total area of 50 hectares is planned for a light industrial park in the ongoing reclamation in Minglanilla. This is a Public-Private-Partnership of the Philippine Reclamation Authority, Minglanilla and Cebu local governments, and the local developer Cebu Landmasters," it said.

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 In general, the industry sector accounted for 39.1 percent of the Central Visayas economy — where Cebu is a major player — as of 2016 while services accounted for 55.5 percent and agriculture made up 5.4 percent.

Industry grew 14.6 percent last year, led by a 40 percent growth in construction.

The manufacturing sector had also grown through at a slower rate at 5.9 percent last year from 5.3 percent in 2015. (FREEMAN)

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