THE Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) or Region 4A is seen strengthening its leadership as the manufacturing and industrial hub of the Philippines, as more investors are expected to come and do business in the region.

Speaking at the 2022 Calabarzon Business Conference held virtually last April 28, architect Jun Palafox said that residents of Calabarzon will grow from 16 to 37 million by 2050, which he said will be the greatest opportunity for many companies, investors and professionals to engage business in this particularly "flourishing" part of the Philippines.

The online forum, attended by local and international businesses and investors, highlighted experts' prospects on the economic growth of Calabarzon, which exceeds most other regions of the country.

The event also tackled major infrastructure projects in the region, partially funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which are equipping the region with strategic assets in the transport and logistics sector. Because of this, property and land development are a particularly interesting opportunity which real estate developers like Italpinas Development Corp. (IDC) and Havitas Developments Corp. have grasped successfully.

Science Park of the Philippines Inc. President Richard Osmond, who definitely has a feel for all the incoming locators of the area being part of the biggest industrial park development company of the Philippines, vouched for his industrial park's location, eco-awareness and safety, being flood-free and in a protected environment.

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Calabarzon is strategically situated south of Metro Manila and it is known as the industrial powerhouse of the Philippines. This region has a big supply base of semi-processed industrial raw materials and industrial components coming from its 31 world-class industrial estates and economic zones.

Major automotive assemblers in the Philippines are located in Calabarzon region, particularly in the province of Laguna, that is also called "the Detroit City of the Philippines." Calabarzon has a huge number of human resources available for the manufacturing and services industries.

Furthermore, the region will continue to be the hub of manufacturing, e-services and logistics in the Asia-Pacific region that is significant to the global economy, thanks to its port and container facilities in Batangas City.

The conference was spearheaded by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (ICCP) and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) along with other European Union chambers from France, Spain, Austria, the Netherlands and Nordic countries.

Some other speakers in the 2022 Calabarzon Business Conference included National Economic and Development Authority Calabarzon Director Luis Banua; PCCI-South Luzon Vice President Sallie Lacson; PCCI Regional Governor Romeo Race; ADB Country Director for the Philippines Kelly Bird; IDC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Romolo Nati; Havitas Chairman and co-founder Alejandro Mañalac; and Bright Night Power Country Head Philippines Michael Yamazoe.

In all, the 2022 Calabarzon Business Conference successfully attracted more European businesses interested to explore opportunities in the region, which is composed of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon province.

The ICCP has an important role in the Calabarzon region and spearheads various activities and projects from north to south. These regional development business conferences are part of a series of events held in various regions in order to invite local stakeholders to connect to the international market and European investors.