Jafza International, the global economic zone operations arm of Economic Zones World today (Sunday, January 27, 2008) signed an agreement with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) for the development and regeneration of Subic Bay Freeport in the Philippines.
The signing, which took place during the official visit of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of Philippines to the UAE, marks the enhanced two-way trade between the UAE and Philippines. Mrs. Salma Hareb, CEO Jafza and Economic Zones World signed the MOU with Mr. Armand Arreza, Administrator and CEO, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) for an estimated total project investment of $200 million to $250 million over 3-5 years.
President Arroyo toured the free zone and port where she met a number of senior Dubai World officials including Jamal Majid bin Thaniah, Executive Vice-Chairman DP World and Group CEO Port & Free Zone World, Mohammed Sharaf, CEO DP World, Mrs. Salma Hareb, and Mohammed Al Muallem, Senior Vice President and Managing Director DP World, UAE region. Mr. Bin Thaniah gave President Arroyo a detailed presentation on the developments and global reach of the world’s fourth largest marine terminal operator, and the synergy between the port and free zone operations in Jebel Ali and abroad.
The Subic Bay agreement incorporates Jafza International’s proposal of the phased lease and consolidation of four areas within the Subic Bay Freeport to form an adjacent industrial/logistics zone within the Freeport as well as the renewal & re-alignment of a prestigious residential and leisure area. The four areas under deliberation are the industrial Technopark, Boton Wharf, Subic International Airport and the residential Cubi area.
Mrs. Salma Hareb said: "The Philippines’ trade and economic policies and the strategic location of Subic Bay not only gives it a genuine edge as an investment area because of its Freeport status but also makes it an ideal gateway to Asian markets. The Subic Bay Freeport fits well in our agenda of forming beneficial alliances and expanding operations to vital business destinations around the world, as well as our intention to form a truly global logistics network."
Mr. Armand Arreza from SBMA stated: “We are pleased to announce our strategic partnership with Jafza International, known for its long-term customer relationships and world-class services. The company’s presence and involvement with the development of Subic Bay Freeport will certainly augment its value to make it an important port of call for commerce, industry and leisure in the region. We hope that relations and cooperation between the two sides will expand to wider horizons.”
Subic Bay is the former Asian Pacific base of the United States Navy and has been operated as a Freeport since the mid 1990s. The Philippine government has heavily supported the rapid expansion and development of Subic Bay and has been instrumental in upgrading the local infrastructure (expressways, railways and Clark Airport) in the area. The Subic Bay Area is slated to become a world-class destination for business, commerce and leisure in the Philippines.
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