(STAR) By Paolo S. Romero - Korean shipbuilding giant Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction will invest an additional $2 billion in the Philippines for a shipyard complex in Mindanao.

President Arroyo welcomed yesterday Hanjin’s newest investment during a courtesy call by company president Jeong Sup Shim. Also present were Phividec Industrial Authority administrator Ninfa Albania and Presidential Management Staff (PMS) director general Cerge Remonde.

The latest investment is expected to generate 30,000 jobs, a Palace statement said. Mrs. Arroyo earlier visited Isla Pu-ting Bato in Tondo where she said that Hanjin’s new investment would generate thousands of jobs, especially for welders.

Remonde said that in terms of investment, Hanjin’s Mindanao project would be two times bigger than the shipbuilding complex the company is building in Subic, Zambales.

Hanjin’s $1-billion shipbuilding plant in Subic is one of the biggest facilities of its kind in the Asian region.

Albania said Hanjin’s latest facility is being established at the 3,000-hectare Phividec Industrial Estate in Tagoloan and Villanueva towns in Mi-samis Oriental.

Jeong said construction of the general manufacturing plant of the shipbuilding facility would start early next year.

Under Phase 2, Jeong said the plant would start fabricating ships in 2010, and by 2012 the facility is expected to export some $1.7 billion worth of shipbuilding parts and vessels.

Jeong said Hanjin’s Mindanao plant would employ about 30,000 Filipinos, particularly engineers, welders and steel fabricators.

He recalled that Hanjin launched its first investment in the country in Mindanao with the construction of the Iligan-Butuan Road in 1973.

More Taiwanese investors seen to locate in Subic By Ma. Elisa P. Osorio Tuesday, November 27, 2007

More Taiwanese businessmen are expected to invest in Subic Bay Freeport in the next three years, officials of the Export Processing Zone Administration (EPZA) said yesterday.

In a statement, EPZA director general Tseng Sheng Bao said Taiwanese investors have already committed up to $5 million in the next three years.

Tseng was met by Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Administrator Armand Arreza during his brief visit at the Freeport. He said his group was impressed with the industrial development in Subic.

“Having been given a clear picture of the business climate in the Subic Bay Freeport, we now have a better knowledge of what businesses will thrive here and what industries to bring in,” Tseng said.

The company that will invest in Subic is Gongin, a major player in Taiwan’s machinery and equipment industry.

The company is looking at setting up a 6,000-sqm factory site and hire some 30 to 50 skilled machinists and mechanical engineers to leverage on the competencies of local workers in English and technical skills.

Gongin manufactures and sells various molds, special machinery, electronic components and molds of airplane engines.

The project will include the establishment of a purchasing and customer service office to cover core operations including high precision plating, surface treatment, high precision stamping, and injection forming mold for clients in the aerospace, opto-electronics, automation and semiconductor industries.

Arreza added that Gongin could serve as a primary and support infrastructure base for all types of manufacturing investments found in the Subic Freeport.

Founded in Kaoshiung in 1978, Gongin now employs 640 workers, and exports its products to Asia, the United States and other countries, with recorded sales of $738.47 million in 2006.

At present, Subic is home to some 85 Taiwanese companies with committed investments totaling more than $500 million.

Some 36 of these firms, including computer maker Wistron GBC and appliance manufacturer Hitachi, are located in the Subic Bay Industrial Park (SBIP), which is managed by the Subic Bay Development and Management Corp.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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