• WB takes interest in $3-B Clark project

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    THE World Bank has expressed interest in supporting the
    development of the 177-hectare Sabah Al Ahmad Global Gateway Logistics City (GGLC) at the Clark Freeport Zone, a project backed by KGL Investment Co. led by Kuwaiti investors.

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    World Bank executive director for the Middle East Hasan Mirza expressed the bank’s interest in the project during a recent visit to the Global Gateway Logistics City, where Global Gateway Development Corp. (GGDC), a company backed by KGL Investment Company, is putting the finishing touches on The Medical City (TMC) Clark, a world-class 150-bed hospital.

    The Medical City Clark is a part of GGLC, a major development project that will cost a total of $3 billion, create over 300,000 jobs and generate annual payroll of $600 million, once completed.

    Kuwait and Gulf Link Transport Co. chairman Saeed Dashti said the hospital will be turned over to Medical City by December 2014, with the official inauguration taking place early next year.

    Dashti said GGDC, owner of the logistics city, is attracting “immense” attention from international investors, including the World Bank and its private sector arm, the International Finance Corp. (IFC).

    Mirza said KGLI’s projects in the Philippines, such as the GGLC and its investment in transport and logistics company 2Go Group, are the kinds of projects that boost the economy and provide for the development of a decent life for the people, which are the World Bank’s priorities.

    “Those are two promising and important projects for the Philippines,” Mirza said.

    Mirza said the negotiation process to invest in GGDC began a year and a half ago, and that only minimal details were left for finalization.  He said the World Bank is interested in such projects which have significant financial, economic and social yield and are in line with the World Bank’s strategy.

    Meanwhile, Dashti said the 2GO Group, which KGLI has invested into, is a leading player in the Philippines’ sea transport industry with a dominant market share and is reportedly the country’s largest provider of door-to-door logistics services.

    Kuwait Ambassador to the Philippines Waleed Al-Kandari said KGLI’s projects provide job opportunities in the country.

    “I had the honor to represent His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in 2012 inauguration of Sabah Al-Ahmad Global Gateway Logistics City in Clark, which is considered one of the largest investment projects in the Philippines.”

    “His Highness the Amir’s visit to the Philippines in 2012 strengthened the bonds of cooperation between the two countries and resulted in fruitful and beneficial cooperation in the fields of business, politics, trade, and investment, among others,” Al-Kandari said.

    Al-Kandari said the Philippines is one of the most promising emerging markets in Southeast Asia and that several Kuwaiti companies have acquired interest in a group of Filipino companies working in different fields, including exploration, particularly in the south-west of the Philippines in the Pacific Ocean, the export of oil to the Philippines, and agriculture in the south of the country, among other important sectors.

    Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, during a luncheon hosted in honor of Dr. Mirza, said the Philippine government will continue to exert all possible efforts to provide a positive atmosphere for investors in the logistics city and other future projects.

    Del Rosario cited the importance of foreign investment in the country and expressed his deep appreciation for the Kuwaiti government’s investments as well as the support extended by the World Bank and the IFC.

    In July 2008, GGDC signed a lease agreement with Clark International Airport Corp. for 50 years with the possibility to extend for another 25 years, to develop a multi-purpose logistics and aviation city on 177 hectares of property.

    In 2009, the Philippine government approved the master plan for the global logistics city, signaling the start of construction. GGDC has so far invested $100 million in the vertical and horizontal development of the logistics city, which attracted renowned logistics corporations and partners to the site.

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