Manufacturing prospects strong

STRONG manufacturing prospects in the country will drive demand for industrial parks and standard factory buildings (SFBs), a property management and research firm said.

Colliers International Philippines, in a report published yesterday, identified Cebu as a major hub for industrial operations outside Luzon. It cited Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Pangasinan and Pampanga as primary industrial hubs.

“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,” the report said.

The research firm said conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is exploring the possibility of venturing into electronics manufacturing, supported by the surging demand for smartphones and other electronic devices.

In addition, luxury carmaker BMW is looking at sourcing more auto parts from the Philippines, eyeing the country as its regional auto parts hub.

“Outside of Luzon, Cebu remains as a major hub for industrial operations. The demand for industrial space and facilities should be sustained by the continued dynamism of Cebu’s export sector,” the report reads.

According to Colliers, Cebu’s export sector is being driven by the economic recovery of the United States as the country’s top trading partner; the implementation of trade deals with neighboring Asean economies and the Eurozone; as well as sustained manufacturing investments from Japan and China.

“These should contribute to greater absorption of space within Cebu’s industrial parks,” it said.

Presently, Cebu has seven manufacturing zones. Pinnacle Real Estate Consulting Services Inc. previously noted the limited industrial spaces available in Cebu, with “less than three hectares of total PEZA industrial spaces,” and all filled up more than four years ago.

The completion of the planned 100-hectare light industrial park in the town of Minglanilla, a public-private-partnership (PPP) of the Municipality of Minglanilla, Philippine Reclamation Authority, and Ming-Mori Development Corp., will be a great addition to the supply, said Pinnacle.

Colliers, quoting a report released by the US State Department, noted that the Philippines is becoming a more attractive destination for foreign investment due to a growing middle class and a “fairly stable political environment.”

In the latest United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) survey, the Philippines ranked as the seventh most attractive destination for foreign direct investments out of 15 developing and developed economies.
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