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BCDA, ecozone promoters make pitch for Australian investment

THE Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and various investment promotion agencies (IPAs) conducted a five-day trade mission to Australia with the aim of attracting investment to Central and Northern Luzon.

In a statement on Tuesday, the BCDA said it led a Philippine delegation that held business-to-business meetings and conferences in Sydney and Brisbane between June 26 and 30.

Participants included nearly 90 Australian companies involved in manufacturing, housing, infrastructure, renewable energy, urban development, automotive, information technology, and education.

Aside from the BCDA, the Philippine delegation consisted of the Subic-Clark Alliance for Development, Clark International Airport Corp., Poro Point Management Corp., and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.

“Investor confidence in the Philippines is growing. It is evident that the Philippines is gaining more attention, and this is why we organized this gathering,” BCDA Chairman Delfin N. Lorenzana said.

Mr. Lorenzana pitched his Australian audience on the government’s efforts to decongest Metro Manila and draw investment and create jobs in places like New Clark City in Tarlac.

He also briefed participants on the Subic-Clark corridor, which benefits from easy access to a major port as well as Clark International Airport.

“As an important gateway, Clark International Airport is linked to Manila in the south, to Subic in the west, and to the rest of Luzon. By 2025, tourist arrivals are expected to increase and Clark will serve as a major entry and exit point for Northern Luzon,” BCDA Chairman Delfin N. Lorenzana said.

The Philippine delegation also pitched the Poro Point Freeport Zone in San Fernando, La Union, one of the nodes of the Luzon Bypass Infrastructure Project, which aims to provide affordable, high-speed internet access nationwide.

In the first quarter, approved investments from Australian companies doubled to about P450 million, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Australia is the 13th largest trading partner of the Philippines as of April, accounting for $335.27 million in total trade. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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