By Filane Mikee Cervantes

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (File photo) 

MANILA – Several countries are investing in the Luzon Economic Corridor project, which can elevate the global status of the Philippines, according to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

In an interview with Chang Dae-hwan, chair of South Korea’s Maekyung Media Group, in Malacañang, Manila on Thursday, Marcos said the project will intensively focus on key infrastructure such as ports, railways, clean energy, and semiconductor supply chain connecting Subic Bay in Zambales, Clark in Pampanga, Manila, and Batangas.

He particularly noted that the ongoing development in Clark City, which is a vital part of the Luzon Economic Corridor, has become an attractive destination for foreign investments due to the establishment of the Clark Freeport and Special Economic Zone.

“I expect it to be mostly American companies,” President Marcos said. “They have come in, and I like to think that the reason for that is because we have set up the system that’s attractive for their investment. And so, we’ll continue to [do] that and will be able to do even better if the [Luzon Economic] corridor is completed, and the travel times and the cost of travel of transport will be brought down.”

He pointed out that the ecozones offer one common tax code and incentive scheme and locator companies do not have to deal with every local government unit.

The President said the ecozones are open to all investors looking for special incentives and special tax breaks.

“We have right now economic zones where anyone can participate,” Marcos said. “It’s not specifically only for Korea, only for one industry… but it’s open for everyone and what it provides. It provides a place where there are special incentives, special tax breaks specially tariffs on importation, sales tax because they don’t sell into the country.”

President Marcos noted that Philippine special zones have been successful, adding that the government is counting on them to bring more success in the country.

The Bases Conversion and Development Authority earlier said the Subic-Clark Railway Project, expansion of the Clark International Airport, and the Clark National Food Hub are pitched to American and Japanese investors under the USD600-billion Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment of the G7 countries.

BCDA said the three projects are being endorsed for the proposed Luzon Economic Corridor.

Maekyung Media Group includes the Maeil Business Newspaper and Maeil Broadcasting Network in Korea. Its printed copies have a circulation of one million while subsidiary companies have monthly magazines and Internet. (PNA)