ONE of the fastest growing supermarket chains in the Middle East is planning to invest in the Philippines and is looking to put up a supermarket and warehouses here, a top Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) official said.
“One big supermarket in the Middle East, the LuLu, will be building in Malaysia, Thailand and also in the Philippines,” said PEZA Director General Charito Plaza.
LuLu Hypermarket is the retail division of multinational LuLu Group International. The company currently has 138 stores, most of which are located in Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, India, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Plaza said LuLu representatives recently visited the Philippines to look for possible suppliers of food products.
“They will also be putting up warehouses and will start looking at possible agricultural areas or agricultural economic zones where they can raise their vegetables and other crops and put up other processing industries to distribute to their different branches in the world,” Plaza said.
Plaza said the company initially plans to put up a warehouse and is looking at the PEZA in Angeles as a possible location.
“They will put up warehouses first and then they will gather suppliers of vegetables, fruits, processed foods, canned goods that they will put in their warehouse and bring to the Middle East and other branches,” she said.
“We are also assisting them in identifying possible agro-industrial ecozones where they will really have a plantation for all the food sources that they will process and deliver to the market,” Plaza added.
Plaza said LuLu is currently in the process of identifying the amount of investments they will pour in.
“They are looking at possible locations and the cost of the warehouse. They will also study the volume of products that they can get,” she said, adding that PEZA is assisting LuLu to determine the major sources of agricultural products such as mangoes and pineapple.
“We will give priority to our existing industries like Dole Philippines, Del Monte and San Miguel, which are industries under PEZA. We will talk with our industries on how much they can supply,” Plaza said.