Canadian investments eyed

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    The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) took home prospective investments from Canada in its first investment mission to this largest country in North American since the agency’s creation in 1995.

    PEZA director-general Charito Plaza led a five-man delegation composed of PEZA and representatives from Mactan ecozone investors association and Centerreach Resources Inc.

    Theo Panga, PEZA deputy director-general, said big-ticket investors are eyeing to set up by early next year their export-oriented facilities in the PEZA ecozones and to make the Philippines their regional hub.

    According to Panga, these Vancouver-based prospects include: ENECO, through its partnership with ACS of Bellingham, Washington which will invest a total of $80 million for the thermal oxidation process system (TOPS) gasifier with acid evaporator- a waste treatment/disposal facility to be established in Mactan, Cavite and Batangas ecozones.

    ENECO will equip some of their TOPS with a waste-to-energy component to allow for tri-generation and mini-grid system in the ecozone for the production of energy, heat and chilled water. These integrated energy solutions will likewise reduce cost of power and promote the development of renewable sources of distributed energy.

    Panga said Silver Valley Farms (SVF) together which its affiliate Suncrest, one of the leading producers and suppliers of frozen and fresh berries, will engage in cacao production for export.

    The company will set up a 50-hectare ecozone with a project cost of $5 million per site, excluding ecozone developer investment.

    SVF plans to put up three production sites for cacao in the country, and has explored as well the viability of growing blueberries in Baguio and Bukidnon.

    Another investment lead is from Tetratech Holdings which will put up a $10 million pharma-grade facility in the Philippines for the export-manufacture of a revolutionary prescription/therapeutic drug.

    Panga also cited big opportunities for ecozone producers of coconut-based and other agri-aqua products into exporting to Canada.

    Prospective investment can be tapped from Vancouver Airport Authority which has invented some automation equipment involving passenger check in for customs/border control and luggage tagging/bag drop conveyor system.

    Panga said Lufthansa Technik has engaged Bombardier Aviation for maintenance, repair and overhaul services in the Philippines.

    He said existing Canadian ecozone information technology companies are also eyeing to expand further their operations in the country.

    He said the mission is timely given the 16.66 percent increase in bilateral trade between the Philippines and Canada, from $1.2 billion in 2017 to $1.4 billion in 2018.

    PEZA only registered 25 Canadian companies out of total 4,000 operating locators) with a combined project cost of P3.9 billion.

    Among the Canadian ecozone investors are Telus and Aquilini.

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