PGMA welcomes $1.025 billion Kuwaiti investment venture in RP
Manila (27 August) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo welcomed a Kuwaiti company's $1.025-billion investment venture in the Philippines which, she said, clearly showed the oil-rich country's "trust in our economy."
Keynoting the start of operations of the Kuwait Gulf and Link (KGL) Investment Company by developing a 167-hectare portion of the former US military base here, the President said the strong economic showing of the country in 2007, brought about by the "tough" fiscal reforms she implemented, has made the Philippines a favorable destination for investors.
She said her state visit to Kuwait in December last year was an opportune time for the country "to advance Philippine economic and investment opportunities with (Kuwaiti) business leaders."
"We were able to showcase our country's extraordinary value for investment: a strategic location and a productive and English speaking workforce," the President said.
"These are increasingly being recognized by foreign investors all over the world, from Europe and North America to the Middle East," she added.
With the country's very good economic performance, the President said "Our nation is finally on the move. For the first time in a long time, we are on track to balance our budget. We have the needed revenues in the bank to invest in our people."
She added that she was happy that the Kuwaiti company has decided to invest here as "Kuwait has been a very good friend of the Philippines."
It may be recalled that a Memorandum of Agreement between the two countries was signed before the President and members of the Kuwaiti Royal Family at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport last April 4.
The MoA called for the development of a master-planned aviation -- oriented logistics and business center of excellence, to be known as the Global Gateway Logistic City (GGLC).
It will host business enterprises and operations with priority given to aviation and logistics-related businesses, including, but not limited to, warehousing, distribution, transportation and related multi-nodal logistics; light industrial and manufacturing; administrative, management and business offices and complimentary commercial and retail operations that are present in and around major international airports, aviation complexes and aerotropolis.
Over 2,200,000 square meters of turn-key facilities, ranging from warehouses and light industrial facilities to modern office buildings and commercial and retail outlets will be design-built for direct lease to locators or investors.
The President said the KGL Investment Co., which she pointed out, belongs to Billion Dollar Club investors, such as Texas Instruments and Hanjin Heavy Industries, Inc., "boosts" the 10-point legacy she wants completed by the end of her term in 2010.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's 10-point legacy agenda are contained in the acronym:
B - alance the Budget
E - ducation for all
A - utomated elections
T - ransport and Digital Infrastructure
T - erminate the rebellion and bring peace to Mindanao
H - ealing the wounds of EDSA
E - lectricity and Water in every barangay
O - pportunity for jobs
D - econgesting Metro Manila
D - eveloping
S - Subic and Clark into a competitive service and logistics center
She said with KGL's investment, achieving "DS" in BEAT THE ODDS is "boosted."
"The GULCH will be the first fully-integrated master-planned center for airport and aviation-oriented operations and businesses in the Philippines and a crucial hub in what we envision to be the best service and logistics center in the region," the President said.
"We anticipate with excitement their state-of-the-art facilities including excellent infrastructure, a comprehensive security system, and sophisticated communications networks, along with many other physical amenities," she added.
"We count on Global Gateway to be managed and maintained to the highest international standards, befitting the international companies who will be locating here."
The President also cited the other equally important investments of Kuwait, the first Arab country to extend a development loan to the Philippines which it used to fund its biggest road project: 115 kilometers of roads from Pagadian City through Lanao del Norte and Sur and Maguindanao to Cotabato City.
Aside from these investments, the President said the Kuwaiti government has "offered to help upgrade the Davao Regional Hospital into a national cancer center, the Cotabato Regional Medical Center into a regional cancer center, and modernize the Zamboanga Medical Center surgery block."
The President said that these investments by Kuwait "inspires our efforts to achieve legacy number five: to bring peace to Mindanao."
The President said that despite her utmost desire for lasting peace to reign in Mindanao, "peace must be anchored on justice."
"The rampage of some lawless MILF groups in Mindanao calls for resolute military and police action," the President said.
"They created trouble before and during proceedings of the peace process. They will likely create problems even after a final agreement would be forged between the government and the MILF," she added.
She stressed that the current military and police actions against these "recalcitrant commands are intended to remove the obstacles to the peace process."
She reiterated her earlier statement on the MILF: "There is no all out war. What we are doing is to have all out peace in Mindanao."
In ending, the President appealed to everyone to support government efforts to bring lasting peace in Mindanao.
"We wish for all insurgents to turn their swords into plowshares, their arms to farms. We ask all sectors to be with us including our brothers in the OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference)," the President said. (PIA-MMIO) [top]