5 Indian firms eye Zambo Ecozone PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 11 March 2014 11:08

Five proprietors and CEOs of Indian companies have signified their interest to invest at the ZAMBOECOZONE and Freeport in separate meetings with ZAMBOECOZONE and Freeport Authority (ZFA) Chairperson and Administrator Christopher Lawrence S. Arnuco during a recent business forum at Makati City.

The proponents were among the contingent from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) who were participants of the ZFA sponsored business forum on March 6, 2014, at the 5th Floor, Board of Investments Building, Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City.

The five prospective Indian investors include: Jobships.com, seafarers services; Ozzy Business Consulting Ltd., agribusiness consultancy; Ivory Education Pvt. Ltd. and International Professional Financial Careers Academy Pvt. Ltd., education; and Huechem Textiles Pvt. Ltd., garments industry.

The road show type business forum, dubbed, “Invest Mindanao; Invest Zamboanga ECOZONE: Zamboanga ECOZONE Authority and Freeport and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry Business Forum”, was a concerted effort of ZFA, Zamboanga City Government, Department of Trade and Industry IX (DTI-9), National Economic Development Authority IX (NEDA-9) and the Board of Investments.

The forum aspired to showcase Zamboanga Peninsula, particularly the City of Zamboanga with ZAMBOEOCOZONE in focus. During the series of presentations, Assistant Regional Director, Ms. Susan C. Valerioof  NEDA-9, exhibited the Economic Profile of Zamboanga Peninsula and the statistical data supporting the phenomenal growth of the region. “Zamboanga Peninsula was the fastest growing region in the country in 2013 with a 12.4% increase in Regional Gross Domestic Product”, Ms. Valerio said.

The Industry Profile of Region-9’s champion products was then presented by Ms. Grace C. Aduca of DTI-9. The products include: rubber, seaweeds, coconut, processed fish, mango, and abaca.

Zamboanga City Tourism Officer Sarita S. Hernandez represented Mayor Maria Isabelle G. Climaco and gave an overview of Zamboanga and what Asia’s Latin City has to offer investors and tourist alike.

Michael Angelo M. Carbon, ZFA Deputy Administrator for Planning and Operations, gave the ZAMBOECOZONE’s promotional briefing which presented it as the Gateway to the BIMP-EAGA. He also expounded on the particulars and advantages of the ZAMBOECOZONE, and highlighted the privileges and incentives to be had in the zone.

The affair was graced by the First Secretary of the Indian Embassy in the Philippines, N. Ram Prasad. Heading the FICCI delegate was Mr. Kapil Rampal, Director of Ivory Education Pvt. and Santosh Nautiyal , Deputy Director of FICCI.

Other notable participants of the forum include: Durgpal Singh Solanki, CEO of Jobship.com; Vipan Mehra, Director of Huechem Textiles Pvt. Ltd.; Mr. Prabhyal Singh Virk, Managing Director of Ozzy Business Consulting Ltd.; Sushunta Kumar Bala, Advisor of the International Professional Financial Careers Academy Pvt. Ltd.; Anna Marie Sy, president of Seachamp International Export Inc. (SEIC), a ZAMBOECOZONE locator; Ruth Yu-Owen, CEO of PhilCarbon;  Vergel Abrenica of San Miguel Foods Inc.; Rhanelyn Yasis of Job and Esther Technologies; Celso Presa,  former Regional Manager of the Development Bank of the Philippines and a local businessman from Zamboanga City; and John Paul Iñigo, Commercial Counsellor, Embassy of the Philippines in New Deldhi. San Miguel Foods Inc. is the partner of Ascent Feed Specialist Inc., a ZAMBOECOZONE locator.

During the business-to-business (B2B) matching and open forum that ensued, several queries and concerns were raised regarding the economic, financial and business processes of doing business in Zamboanga and in the ZAMBOECOZONE.

Sy of SEIC gave a testimony of their company’s experience in the zone which highlighted the B2B session. According to Sy, “We have been in Zamboanga ECOZONE for over five years now and we are very happy to be doing business there, and we shall continue to stay there for the next twenty-five years”.

In his response, First Secratary N. Ram Prasad revealed that India and the Philippines have set aside years of limited contact and are going to work towards a full and comprehensive upgrade of their bilateral relations which will be manifest in the visit of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee to the Philippines in 2014. He reiterated the joint statement issued after the second meeting of the India-Philippines Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation, that it was decided that the two countries would work to fully maximize the potential of the Joint Working Group on Trade and Investment.