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PIA Press Release

South Korean firm to put up $49-M coconut-based sweetener plant in RP

Jeju, South Korea (via PLDT) (2 June) -- A South Korean food processing company committed itself to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to put up a coconut-based sweetener manufacturing plant in the Philippines.

CJ Corporation (CJC) led by its chairman Kyung Shik Sohn and its president and CEO Jinsoo Kim called on the President at the onset of the 20th ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit held at the Shilla Hotel to personally present to Mrs. Arroyo their "expansion" plan for the Philippines.

Press Undersecretary Lorelei Fajardo told reporters that CJC, whose $7.5-million animal feeds production plant in San Rafael, Bulacan has been operating since 1997, plan to put up their natural on coconut-based sweetener manufacturing plant in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur.

"The prospective employment generation of CJC's plant to manufacture its coconut-based brand Xylose sweetener will generate at least 1,000 jobs," Fajardo said.

She added that the President instructed Trade Secretary Peter Favila to ensure the "smooth operation of CJC's investment in the country."

"The President gave assurance that the Philippine government would extend all necessary assistance and support to ensure the smooth operation of CJC's investment in the country," Fajardo said.

The coconut industry is considered a major dollar-earner in the country that provides livelihood to a third of the country's population.

Of the 12 million hectares of farmlands in the country, one-fourth is devoted to coconut farms in 68 provinces.

The Philippines currently has a 59 percent share in the total coconut exports globally, and the industry contributes 1.14 percent to the gross national product every year.

There are about 3.5 million coconut farmers in the country, largely in the region of Southern Luzon and in Mindanao. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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