By Chino S. Leyco
China will develop several industrial parks in the country to easily facilitate its planned investments into the Philippines, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said that China plans to develop government real-estate assets into medium and light industrial parks where Chinese locators could invest in.
“We don’t want a steel plant, but if it’s a car assembly plant pwede, if it’s robotics assembly plant pwede, semiconductors, laboratories, training facilities,” Dominguez told reporters in a recent interview at the DOF headquarters.
Vivencio B. Dizon, Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) president and chief executive said that industrial park development was among the agreements that were signed between China and the Philippines in November last year.
Dizon said that China is already interested in BCDA’s New Clark City in Tarlac. “It’s just that the first area that they felt was ready… primarily because of the connectivity to the airport and the adjacent infra like SCTEX and Subic.”
“The idea is to identify several sites and it’s really not just New Clark City. It’s several sites across the country that China can finance to build and develop industrial parks,” Dizon said in a same interview with Dominguez.
“Obviously with the development comes also their bringing in of the companies that will locate and build their factories or facilities in the industrial park,” he added.
Dizon said that China wants to development 1,000 hectare industrial parks, but the Philippines could only provide about 300 hectare to 500 hectare land.
“The deal is they [Chinese] develop and they also are the ones that bring in locators, it’s like a package deal,” the BCDA chief.
Dizon said the government is targeting to have the industrial park development agreement signed with China in November this year on the sidelines of President Xi Jinping’s scheduled visit to Manila.
“Once we sign that, the next step is to masterplan it. Industrial parks have to be contiguous and flat, so that has to be masterplanned jointly with BCDA… that will maybe take another six-months. So maybe shovels on the ground for that mabe sometime later next year,” Dizon said.
The Department of Trade and Industry is the lead agency for the planned Chinese industrial parks.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez earlier said that five locations are being considered for the establishment of the Chinese industrial parks in the Philippines, which include three locations in Luzon and two in Mindanao.