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$5-B economic hub shapes up in Clark Freeport Zone

The head of a 177-hectare mixed-use estate in the Clark Freeport Zone said his company will pour $5 billion into the development of a world-class economic hub in the former US military base.

Michael Russell, president of Global Gateway Development Corp. (GGDC), said  he sees the Clark Freeport as a viable investment destination.

“It will be a seven- to 10-year build out.  We expect a good return on investments and generate 300,000 jobs once the economic hub is fully operational,” Russell said in an interview.

GGDC, founded by The Port Fund, is a private equity fund managed by the Kuwaiti firm KGL Investment Co., with the Kuwaiti government and other countries as lead investors.

GGDC’s anchor project called Global Gateway Clark offers office and retail spaces for leasing to its investors, accommodating business- process outsourcing (BPO) firms, modern transportation facilities  and healthcare industries.

Russell said American investors in Clark are unfazed by US President Donald J. Trump’s American First policy, and the latter’s pronouncement that he will “cut regulations and taxes to make it more attractive for business to operate in the US”.

Russell said they will stay in the Clark Freeport to fulfill their vision for the estate property.

Once completed, the Global Gateway Clark will be divided into four zones: Aeropark, Business Park, Town Center and Logistic Park. It is an ultra-modern city and at par to Metro Manila’s Bonifacio Global City.

The One West and Two West buildings inside the Aeropark are set for completion in July this year, according to Russell.

Global Gateway Clark sits at the crossroads of North Luzon Expressway and Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway and only 30 minutes away from the newly expanded Subic Bay deep-water port and is directly adjacent to Clark International Airport.

Russell said the Logistic Park is master planned to house several warehousing and distribution facilities.  Businesses doing light manufacturing, according to Russell, can also operate out of this zone with ease.

The Business Park is where prime space will be located, along with complimentary retail, pocket parks and residential space supporting a true live, work-play environment. The Aeropark will be home to research and development, modeling and simulation, as well as information-technology center, BPO campuses and educational facilities. The Town Center will host several retail establishments.

Russell said the future of the Philippine economy is just outside Metro Manila, where space and the people are available to lead the next wave of growth.

“In the next few years, international businesses and workers will be catering to even larger markets and will require proportionally larger, more efficient and better connected environments to keep up with the country’s growing economy,” said Russell.

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