SBMA woos foreign investors on trade mission to Dubai

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Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Wilma Eisma speaks with Orhan Abbas, Senior Vice President of Far East Flag Carrier Emirates, for possible Dubai-Subic flights . (Photo courtesy of SBMA)

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—Various foreign investors have expressed interest in this economic zone as the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has stepped up its campaign to boost key industries in the freeport.

In a February 23 statement, SBMA President and Trustee Wilma Esima said she met business people during a recent trade mission to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), promoting the port franc as a sustainable and competitive commercial and industrial hub in the Philippines.

She said there were potential investors in freight logistics, renewable energy, aviation, vaccine manufacturing and compliance solutions.

These included Abu Dhabi Ports, a logistics operator and manager of industrial estates and ports in the UAE; and the Philippine Business Council of Dubai and the Northern Emirates, which promotes cooperation between the business communities of Dubai, the Northern Emirates and the Philippines.

Eisma said it had also offered Subic Bay International Airport as an alternative hub for the United Arab Emirates’ flag carrier Emirates.

She said she pitched the potential partnership during a meeting with Orhan Abbas, the company’s senior vice president for the Far East.

“It could increase the number of commercial flights from Dubai to the Philippines and from the Philippines to Dubai,” she said.

During the trip to Dubai, Eisma also attended the Philippine Country Business Briefing led by Commerce Secretary Ramon Lopez on February 11 and participated in the Philippines National Day the following day, which was attended by thousands of Filipinos in Dubai.

“We have high hopes that Subic has caught the attention of key industry members in the UAE, especially with the endorsement we have received from the Philippine Business Council in Dubai and the Northern Emirates,” said Eisma.

SBMA Chief Deputy Operations Officer Ronnie Yambao, who accompanied Eisma to Dubai, said the Subic team informed business people and venture capitalists about business opportunities in Subic, making promoting the Freeport as a leading investment destination in the Southeast Asian region.

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