Since 2018, two of the largest economies — the United States and China — have been at odds with each other in what is now referred to as the US-China Trade War. It has since affected many countries, including the Philippines. An increasing number of companies — manufacturers mostly — are moving their production bases from China to neighboring countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
“Geographically, the Philippines is at the crossroad between the Americas and Asia, making us a good stepping stone for both continents. We are also in a good geographic center between North Asia: Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan; as well as the rest of ASEAN: Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam — and even Australia. So we have the centrality in our position in Asia,” explains Jeffrey Ng, president of Cathay Land.
“At the same time, we are the stepping stone for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) region, which includes the Americas and Asia,” he adds.
Benefits Of The Us-China Trade War To The Philippines
In spite of the trade war, investments in the Philippines grew in 2018 — with manufacturing receiving the most investments. The country has emerged as the world’s top investment destination with its young demographic, a burgeoning middle class, and a proficient manpower that is fluent in English.
“We have a very young demographic, with almost two million coming into the workforce ever year and this will increase in the years to come. Unlike other countries in Asia like Thailand, China, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, their population is starting to shrink already,” starts Ng.
“There is a shortage of labor pool. In our case, for the next 50 years, you can look forward to a well-trained, English-speaking labor pool that’s productive, efficient, and easy to train whether it’s for BPO or call center, or warehousing.”
Cavite As The Next Industrial Destination
Southern Luzon has become a major growth driver of the country’s economy. Due to its proximity to Metro Manila, major developers have acquired — and are acquiring — large parcels of land in the region for residential, commercial, and industrial uses. One of the areas that is thoroughly benefitting from these developments is Cavite.
“Cavite is the fastest growing province in terms of growth and population growth in the last 30 years. We expect it to grow even faster in the years to come with the many major infrastructure projects that are being completed now,” says Ng.
Cathay Land, one of the fastest rising real estate firms in the country, is a major and pioneering developer that saw the potential Cavite has to offer. Twenty years ago, Cathay Land launched the Cavite Light Industrial Park (CLIP), the first industrial park project in the South. Located along Maguyam Road in Silang, Cavite, CLIP has attracted players in the pharmaceutical, packaging, technology, trucking, glass and aluminum industries, among others.
CLIP’s location is strategic, giving locators easy access to the Port of Manila via Governor’s Drive, Aguinaldo Highway, Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX) and Roxas Boulevard, for the delivery of raw material and logistics for its export operations. CLIP will be made even more accessible with the completion of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX), making the industrial park much more accessible to the Batangas City port via the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) or the Cavite-Tagaytay-Batangas Expressway (CTBEX).
“We are virtually at the doorstep of Metro Manila. We are just 10 to 20 kilometers from Las Piñas and Muntinlupa. There are even plans to extend the Light Rail Transit (LRT) line Bacoor station to Dasmariñas. So, with all of these infrastructures and the best sense of the labor pool, we are very confident that Cavite will be a major manufacturing base in the years to come. And we have been proven right by the tremendous demand we have for our industrial lots in CLIP,” adds Ng.
Cavite Light Industrial Park Expanding Further
In order to meet the demand, Cathay Land launched last February the second phase of the industrial park with 20 hectares. And just very recently, it is launching Phase 2, Tranches 3 and 4 — approximately 15 hectares or 53 lots ranging from 1,400 – 4,738 sqm. with an average selling price of P25 million per lot.
Cathay Land also plans to offer commercial lots within CLIP, akin to how Pasong Tamo Avenue evolved, wherein a commercial frontage is directly facing the main street. “We expect banks, car firms, tire retailers, and supermarkets to put up their own retail shops here… So we are a bit unique among industrial estates, in that many of our industrial lots are actually also partly commercial and our buyers appreciate this. It’s a dual purpose for them and we expect a greater appreciation value for them in the years to come,” says Ng.
On the opposite side of CLIP is Mallorca Villas, which offers townhouses, duplexes and single-attached houses. This is ideal for the employees working inside CLIP. When asked if Cathay Land will also offer condominium units similar to that of their South Forbes Golf City township development, Ng says, “We cannot rule it out, as we still have the space. We are planning to have dormitory buildings and residential condominiums, which would make life more convenient for our locators. In addition to more commercial areas, we are putting up a one-hectare Mallorca Square for supermarkets and other commercial establishments; and another one called The Villages.”
In addition, Cathay Land is also studying other areas of Cavite aside from Silang to put up another industrial park. “There are no concrete plans yet, but we want to concentrate on making industrial estates in Cavite and Central Luzon,” says Ng.
With so many developments underway for CLIP and Cavite, the province will surely rise to become one of the busiest industrial areas in Southern Luzon.