Subic lures ‘firm prospects’ in 2-state US trade mission

Posted 4 years ago

SBMA Chairman Wilma Eisma signs a cooperation agreement with Leonides Reyes, president of the Filipino-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston.

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has drawn strong interest from prospective investors in the United States during a series of investment promotion meetings last week with various business groups in the states of Texas and California.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma, who led the business mission, said that among the firm prospects they encountered was a $10-million hotel operation and management project from owners of the Ramada Hotel in National City, California.

“It was a fruitful mission overall, but the most successful was in San Diego County where we received firm commitments for the hotel project,” Eisma said in a briefing here on Wednesday.

She said the other areas that potential investors favored were ship repair, refrigeration facility operation, home care, fintech Paypal system and green energy.

Eisma said business groups, particularly in communities with a high concentration of Filipino expatriates, had responded positively to SBMA’s marketing efforts.

“Part of the attraction was the pitch for them to come back and give their original home a chance [to develop further],” she added.

“Because of this strong interest in Subic, they are now scheduling a counterpart trade mission to Subic this October,” she also said.

Eisma said the 10-day SBMA investment road show took them first to Houston, Texas, where she discussed Subic synergies and trade prospects with officials of the Port of Houston Authority led by Chief Commercial Officer John Moseley, and then signed a cooperation agreement to expand SBMA’s global network with Leonides Reyes, president of the Filipino-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston.

Next, the SBMA team met with top executives of the Los Angeles Port Authority and the Federation of Philippine American Chambers of Commerce at the Port of Los Angeles in California, taking the opportunity to talk about connectivity between the Port of LA and the Port of Subic.

The SBMA official also briefed members of the chamber of commerce in Chula Vista, the second-biggest city in the San Diego metropolitan area, and received
inquiries on cold storage facility, ship repair and cruise ship home port projects in Subic.

Eyeing ties between the Port of San Diego and Subic Bay, Eisma also met separately with San Diego Port Commissioner Rafael Castellanos and Director Matthew Andersen of the US Commercial Service in San Diego, and San Diego International Airport Senior Director Hampton Brown and Domenic D’Ambrosio, VP for Marketing
and Innovation.

At a business forum in San Diego on June 14, Eisma said she highlighted Subic investment opportunities in manufacturing, shipbuilding, ICT, renewable energy, retirement, leisure and tourism.

Eisma’s US trade mission successfully concluded with her receipt of two awards: a “Bayani” award from the Olongapo City Bayanihan Club (OCBC) of San Diego County, and a citation from National City Vice Mayor Ron Morrison.

The first, signed by OCBC Chairman Elen Nobles and Vice Chairman Jimmy Yap, recognized Eisma’s exemplary contributions “by opening channels of opportunities in job creation, business development and community-based programs,” and hailed her as “a radiant symbol of optimism to the Filipino communities globally.”

The citation from Morrison, meanwhile, cited the SBMA official for “her vision and inclusive leadership in public service by creating economic opportunities for the families of Olongapo City with ties in San Diego, California, USA.”


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Subic lures ‘firm prospects’ in 2-state US trade mission

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