More manufacturing firms to locate in Phl

Published in The Philippine Star.

March 27, 2017

More manufacturing companies, particularly in the automotive sector, are relocating some of their Chinese operations back to the Philippines, according to Jones Lang Lasalle Philippines.

JLL Philippines chairman Lindsay Orr told reporters some manufacturing companies who moved their operations to China after the Asian Financial Crisis, could be returning to the Philippines.

"Before the Asian financial crisis, we had a strong manufacturing base, (but) because of labor laws and other issues, a lot of it closed down and went to places like China, which had a lower cost base," Orr said.

Orr said foreign manufacturers are looking to diversify, or spread out their production operations.

 "What we're seeing now, is that a lot of that industry – foreign owned industry that went to China, is probably now a bit too top-heavy in China, so they're looking for to diversify a little bit and get some of their operations out of China,"Orr said.

He said the Philippines is one of the locations they are looking to move to.

"So we're seeing companies beginning to look at the Philippines and come back particularly in the automotive sector, motorcycles that sort of thing," Orr said.

The company chairman said it is the size of the country's labor force that is attracting manufacturing investors to locate operations in the Philippines.

He added this would be mutually beneficial for the Philippines as it would create jobs for those who are not at the college-graduate level.

"The BPO sector really focuses on the better educated sector, part of it. You really need to find jobs for those people who don't have the college or university education and that's where manufacturing and, of course,  agriculture will come into place," Orr said.

"So we'll see more manufacturing, We'll see a lot of warehousing and distribution companies start up in the Philippines," Orr said.

Moreover, Orr aaded that the CALABARZON area remains to be the key point of interest for manufacturing companies, given its proximity to the Manila port and since a lot of industrial parks are located in the area.

However, he also indentified the Bulacan and Clark areas as potential locations for future manufacturing hubs.

"I think that whole area, Batangas to Clark is going to be very viable for manufacturing," Orr said.


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