Widus Hotel and Casino Clark plans to invest $500 million more to expand its leisure business in the Clark Freeport Zone amid a faster and more efficient environment for business processing.
Widus president and chief executive Daesik Han said the additional money would boost the group’s investments in hotel projects to $1 billion.
He encouraged more companies to join in the development of Clark and in New Clark City, the flagship project of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority.
“The government is building the infrastructure but the private sector should contribute to build some recreational facilities so that this area is not going to be a transit area only,” he said.
Widus spent an initial investment of $4 million when it started doing business in Clark 12 years ago.
Han’s investment ballooned to $500 million with the construction of the five-star Marriott Hotel in Clark that is set to open by September 2018 and the expansion of the Widus Hotel and Casino.
Another investor, Global Gateway Development Corp., lauded the “very transparent business process in Clark Freeport.
“For an investor that is first coming in, we can attest to the ease of actually investing and doing business in the Freeport Zone versus going somewhere else in the Philippines,” said Global Gateway chief investment officer Evan McBride.
“There is a very transparent lease process, very transparent business process, registration process, and we’ve been able to invest hundreds and millions of dollars over the last 10 years. It’s really a true partnership with the Philippines,” he said.
GGDC is behind the development of the 177-hectare Clark Global City, formerly known as Global Gateway Clark. World-class infrastructure for businesses has already been constructed in some 50 hectares of the total area.
Access to quality infrastructure, according to McBride, was an important factor for investors planning to create a good working environment for their employees.
Clark Development Corp. president and CEO Noel Manankil said locators seeking business in Clark dealt with only one department.
“In CDC, you’ll only talk to one face of government, which is one of the biggest factors, especially for foreign investors. All investment processes are also automated,” Manankil said.
He also cited the investment climate, availability of manpower and the surrounding communities as Clark’s edge.
CDC allocated P2 billion this year for road networks, a mass transit system, park improvements and cultural investments. About P1 billion was spent for road expansions in 2017.