BUILDING A planned industrial park for Chinese companies in New Clark City, Pampanga can start next year, said Bases' Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).
BCDA President and Chief Executive Officer Vivencio B. Dizon said that a memorandum of understanding is expected to be signed in November with China, in time for the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
"So the goal is to sign the agreement in November, and once we've signed it, the next step is to create a Master Plan – that can take another six months, so maybe it'll kick in on the floor somewhere later next year, "said Mr. Dizon to reporters on Thursday.
Last month, a Philippine government delegation visited China to make arrangements with future Chinese companies that wanted to go here.
Mr. Dizon said the Chinese were looking for a building as large as 1,000 hectares in the industrial zone, but noted that the government can only accommodate somewhere between 300 and 500 hectares.
For the industrial zone, the chief of the BCDA said that the government is monitoring "medium and light industries", such as assembly companies for cars, robotic assembly lines, processing plants for semiconductors, laboratories and training facilities.
The Philippines and China inked a Memorandum of Understanding in November last year, in which the latter committed to developing the industrial park and introducing Chinese locators.
The proposal was first presented at the end of 2016 when President Rodrigo R. Duterte visited Beijing when the ties between the two countries improved.
Apart from Pampanga, Dizon said the government will identify other new industrial parks in Luzon that will stimulate development outside of Metro Manila.
"The idea is to identify different sites and it's not just New Clark City, it's a number of sites across the country that China can finance, build and develop industrial parks." The development also means that they bring in companies that have their plants or will find and build facilities in the industrial park, "Dizon said.
"Only the first area they thought it was ready for was New Clark City, mainly because of the connectivity with the airport and the adjacent infrastructure," he added.
Mr. Dizon also said that the area is still open to other nationalities that want to set up their industries there.
"Moving to Southeast Asia is good, because the Philippines, number one, have a lot of free trade with a lot of people, so it's where you come from, it's the country of origin so that's important, so this is a really good move US. "- Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan