China and Philippines are Working to Establish the Biggest Industrial Park in the Nation
23 Nov, 2018  |  Source:Belt and Road Porta  |  Hits:1818

China and the Philippines are working to establish an industrial park at the former Clark airfield, once one of the biggest US Air Force bases outside of the United States.

Covering 500 hectares, the industrial park will be the biggest in the Philippines and home to dozens of Chinese firms setting up in the country.

Vivencio Dizon, president of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, responsible for Clark's development, said the costs have not been determined as Clark Global City Corp still needs a development plan, which will need the approval of the authority.

"The plan will determine the amount of investment for the park," Dizon said.

China will decide on the companies to operate there, but Dizon expects them to be light industries and technology firms like makers of electronics and semiconductors.

"We are looking forward to this investment from China as it will further develop Clark into the next premier economic hub in Asia."

No date has been set for construction to start, but Dizon is hopeful it will be toward the latter part of next year.

"The deal is they (China) develop and they also are the ones that bring in (companies). In other words, it is a package deal," he said.

Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez told The Philippine Star newspaper on Sept 3 that the industrial zone would be limited to light and medium industries.

Dominguez indicated the government was looking more toward car assembly, robotics, semiconductors, laboratories and training facilities.

A joint statement issued last November by Premier Li Keqiang and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, during Li's visit to the Philippines, said the two countries recognized that their bilateral relations "have achieved positive turnaround and momentum".

During Li's visit, some 14 memorandums of understanding were signed between the two countries.

One focusing on increasing cooperation in industrial park development was signed between China's Ministry of Commerce and the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry.

At the China International Import Expo information mission in Manila late last year, China's Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua said China wants its first industrial park in the Philippines to be bigger than its eight other parks in Southeast Asia.

Dizon said the government was also looking to establish industrial parks elsewhere in the Philippines.

"It's just that the first area we felt was ready was New Clark City, primarily because of the connectivity to the airport and adjacent infrastructure like the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway," he said.

China's investment in New Clark City has been reported to be China's largest in a single project in the Philippines. Dizon said the development will underscore improving ties between the two countries.