By Arra B. Francia
Senior Reporter

AYALA LAND, Inc. (ALI) is riding on the influx of Chinese firms coming to the Philippines as it plans to acquire up to 200 hectares of land in Central Luzon for the development of the first Sino-Philippine industrial park in the country.

ALI President and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Vincent O. Dy said they are in advanced talks with several land owners for the land acquisition, while also speaking with Chinese manufacturing firms to locate in their industrial parks.

“We’re now starting to look, fairly close, in securing a much larger parcel to be able to do, as our chairman mentioned, the first Sino-Philippine joint venture for an industrial park to be able to attract more Chinese locators into the Philippines,” Mr. Dy said in a press briefing organized by its parent Ayala Corp. (AC) in Makati last Friday.

Prior to this industrial park venture, the listed property developer has already been working with one of China’s largest tile manufacturers to locate in one of its existing estates.

Mr. Dy said the Chinese firm has taken up 1.7 hectares in its Alviera Industrial Park in Porac, Pampanga. The estate is recognized as a special economic zone by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.

“The initial manufacturing plant is now under way, it is going to be in the industrial park in Porac. In about a few months, they should start manufacturing high-end engineered stone in Pampanga, both for domestic consumption as well as for export,” Mr. Dy explained.

AC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala noted how the conglomerate also pioneered the development of the first industrial park in the country in partnership with Japanese firm Mitsubishi Corp. in Laguna.

He added that several Ayala units have been partnering with Chinese firms in previous years.

“If you look at the way the Ayala group has engaged with China, it is, I think, probably among the largest in the country,” Mr. Zobel said in the same media briefing.

Mr. Zobel cited Globe Telecom, Inc.’s decade-long partnership with telco giant Huawei, which he said significantly contributed to their telco business’ success.

“Part of the success, I’d like to think, that we have had in the telecommunications business is driven by the relationship we had with Huawei and what they enabled us to do from a competitive point of view.”

Mr. Zobel also said AC Energy, Inc. has used Chinese technology in the rollout of infrastructure in the energy generating space, while AC Industrial Technology Holdings, Inc. has a number of operating facilities in China.

AC reported a net income of P31.8 billion in 2018, five percent higher year on year, after consolidated revenues also grew by 13% to P274.88 billion.