Property consultant Colliers International said the manufacturing sector will continue to benefit from foreign investments after President Duterte’s visit to Japan and China last year.
Colliers said these investments include those committed by Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. and by Mitsubishi Motor Philippines Corp. for the expansion of their assembly operations in the Philippines.
“More manufacturing investments should result in greater demand for industrial space and facilities particularly in the Cavite-Laguna-Batangas corridor, the country’s main industrial hub,” it said.
Total investment pledges registered with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) for the first nine months of 2016 reached P93.3 billion ($1.9 billion).
“The Cavite-Laguna-Batangas region cornered 28 percent of the total investment commitments from January to September 2016,” Colliers said.
PEZA said majority of the investments in the region are intended for manufacturing projects.
“This indicates the Cavite-Laguna-Batangas region should expect more manufacturing investments in the medium term,” Colliers said.
Colliers said a slight increase in industrial stock coupled with an uptick in demand led to a decline in the overall vacancy of Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas industrial stock to 9.5 percent as of the second half of last year from 10.1 percent in the first half.
“The decline in vacancy is not surprising as major manufacturing investors continue to gravitate toward the Cavite-Laguna-Batangas area due to its proximity to the country’s capital, availability of adequately-skilled labor force, relatively cheaper wages, and improving infrastructure. Crucial in funneling more manufacturing investments to the Cavite-Laguna-Batangas corridor is the planned revival of a rail cargo between Manila port and an inland container terminal facility in Laguna,” it said.
Aside from Southern Luzon, other viable locations for industrial park development such as Central Luzon are also attracting interest, noted Coliers.
Citing the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA), Colliers said about 20 Japanese firms have expressed interest to put up facilities in Clark Green City while a mix of local and foreign manufacturers are exploring the possibility of establishing operations in the 31-hectare Alviera Industrial Park in Porac, Pampanga.
“Colliers proposes that developers take advantage of the current administration’s thrust of developing more industrial zones throughout the country. The government, on the other hand, will only be able to entice more firms to develop industrial space if it releases concrete and consistent policies guiding the grant of incentives to industrial park developers and their locators,” it said.