DAMOSA Land, Inc., the real estate arm of the Floirendo-owned Anflo Management and Investment Corp., is in talks with two foreign companies for space at the Anflo Industrial Estate (AIE) in Panabo City.

AIE Corp. First Vice-President Ricardo “Cary” F. Lagdameo said the potential locators are involved in the agro-industrial chain business. He said further details will be announced as negotiations develop.

Mr. Lagdameo said they continue to be bullish about the economic zone after achieving targets last year despite the mobility restrictions and overall economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Year on year, we were able to hit (targets), to completing infrastructure and bringing in foreign investments,” Mr. Lagdameo said during the company’s 2021 kick-off event held online on Jan. 29.

There are currently 15 locators in the Philippine Economic Zone Authority-accredited complex, represented by five nationalities. Employment within the ecozone more than doubled to 600 as of end-2020 from 289 at the start of the year.

Among the locators that started operations in 2020 were Davao Zhenzhi Corp., PMR Pallet Ltd. Co., Southern Harvest, and Connovate Philippines.

“That’s something that we were extremely happy about… when we see that, despite the pandemic, people are being given job opportunities,” Mr. Lagdameo said.

Japanese paper packaging company Packwell, Inc. also started construction on its facility last year.

About 33 hectares of the 63-hectare AIE has so far been developed, according to Mr. Lagdameo, including 2.1 hectares of ready-built facilities and warehouses and over 2 kilometers of roads.

Mr. Lagdameo said they are also considering expanding the ecozone area with surrounding properties.

“We will be looking at acquiring additional land so that we can continue this project. For 2020, we had to stop our developments during ECQ (enhanced community quarantine, the strictest lockdown level imposed by the government), but before that we were in full swing. Some of the projects that we started even before the start of the pandemic, we were able to finish, (like) the spine road from the front gate of the park to the back gate,” he said.

The developed area also covers the container yard for the adjacent Davao International Container Terminal Port, another Anflocor subsidiary. The port’s expanded berth is also expected to be completed by March.

The company will also start with the AIE’s commercial area this year. — Maya M. Padillo