GermanY’S Stihl Group said it decided to locate its new manufacturing plant in the Philippines because of the country’s favorable business climate, its fast-growing economy and its political stability.
Stihl’s affiliate, Zama Precision Industry Manufacturing Philippines, Inc., recently broke ground for its P2.5-billion manufacturing plant at the First Philippine Industrial Park (FPIP) in Sto. Tomas, Batangas.
Dr. Bertram Kandziora, Stihl executive board chairman, highlighted the favorable Philippine business climate and the invaluable assistance of government agencies in charge of providing incentives to investors, particularly Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), which strengthened the group’s resolve to locate in the Philippines.
“The Philippines is an attractive industrial location. It is one of the fastest growing economies in the Asia-Pacific region; it is politically stable compared to other countries in the region and has a well-structured educational system with English as an official language,” said Kandziora.
Zama president Jan Grigor Schubert expressed confidence that their partnership with the Philippines will be for the long haul.
“After some search we decided to place Zama’s new home here in FPIP. We had quite a number of options in summer 2013, many of them at lower land prices.
However, at no point in time we regretted that we have favored reliability, professional service and unsolicited support over small initial savings. I have to say, that we started our 50+25 years mutual partnership with you very well and I am confident that we both will keep it that way,” he said.
PEZA director general Lilia B. De Lima, Christof Wegner, representative of German Ambassador to the Philippines Thomas Ossowski, and ranking officials of the Stihl Group attended the ground breaking.
The 60,000-square meter facility, touted as one of the local biggest investments of a German company, is slated for full operations in 2016.
De Lima thanked the German company for valuing the investment promotions efforts of the government and committed PEZA’s utmost support to the German company.
Zama is recognized as a technology leader and the world’s largest manufacturer of diaphragm carburetors and has plants in Japan, Hong Kong, China, and the United States. It has 2,400 employees worldwide and produces more than 14 million carburetors in 350 different models.
In putting up a plant at the FPIP, Zama will be in the company of the world’s biggest manufacturers who are also located in the economic zone, including the Honda Group, Nasdaq-listed SunPower Corp., Japan’s Sumitomo Corp., B/E Aerospace, Canon Business Machines, and Swiss giant Nestle.
The local Zama facility is not only expected to stimulate business activities but also generate thousands of jobs in the Southern Luzon area.