Tuesday, January 21, 2014

European Chamber of Commerce chooses Albay as new manufacturing hub in Luzon

LEGAZPI CITY, Jan. 20 (PNA) -- The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) is eyeing Albay province as the next hub for manufacturing in the country.

Albay province, specifically Legazpi City, has been recognized by the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) owing to its good business climate and excellent disaster mitigation and adaptation measures.

The plan of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) to expand its businesses in Albay coincides with the opening of the Legazpi City domestic airport as a new gateway for international chartered flights in Southern Luzon.

A letter by Henry J. Schumachar, vice president for external affairs of the ECCP, to Governor Joey Salceda on Sunday said Philippine business groups and joint foreign chambers have been active in recent months in developing a paper on manufacturing in relation to the inclusive growth goal of the government.

Schumachar added that the business group is moving manufacturing businesses, specifically labor-intensive ones, to new locations where infrastructure is available and where industrial zones can be created and labor costs are substantially lower compared to Central Luzon and Metro Cebu.

“We feel that Albay could be such a location and we would like to discuss our concept in details with you,” Schumachar said in his letter.

The economic boom in Bicol, specifically in Albay province, is expected following the upgrading of Legazpi airport as the new international gateway for international flights starting Jan. 30.

About 200 Chinese tourists will visit Albay during the maiden direct flight from Xiamen, China, to Legazpi City on Jan. 30, as the province opens its international gateway for more foreign tourists and visitors.

The commencement of international flights here will be made following the overdue construction of the Southern Luzon International Airport (SLIA) in Alobo, Daraga, Albay.

However, even before the construction of the SLIA, Legazpi City has been identified by the AIM as the next business hub after Davao and Cebu.

Legazpi City is the center of trade and commerce and is the seat of government in the Bicol region where the university belt is located.

An AIM study said Legazpi is a fast rising city in the country in terms of infrastructure development, business growth and notable peace in order condition and the next business hub after Davao and Cebu.

Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing companies are mushrooming and expanding their operations in this city. (PNA) LGI/FGS/RBB/CBD/UTB