Japanese firm Packwell eyes 200 workers for Panabo plant

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PACKWELL, Inc. is building a manufacturing facility within the Anflo Industrial Estate. — LEAN S. DAVAL, JR.

DAVAO CITY — Packwell Inc., a Japanese company that manufactures paper-based packaging and containers, is eyeing to employ 200 workers for its plant in Panabo City that is expected to start operations by the second quarter 2020.

Yuichi Yamagishi, chief operating officer of Nitto Co. Ltd. under the Packwell Group, said the upcoming plant within the Anflo Industrial Estate (AIE) will have double the manpower they have in their Shanghai and Tokyo facilities, which each have about 100 workers.

“We need a lot of workers. In Panabo, the labor cost is good for us and also we can get good people, especially (since) they have good English skills,” Mr. Yamagishi told BusinessWorld during the opening of the Davao Investment Conference 2019 last week.

Mr. Yamagishi said they are already working with contractors and preparing to start the construction of the plant, the company’s 5th, as soon as possible.

Packwell signed up for 16,000 square meters (sq.m.) of land at the AIE and will initially utilize half of the area.

“When everything is doing well, we will expand and use the other 8,000 sq.m. of land,” Mr. Yamagishi said.

Ricardo “Cary” F. Lagdameo, vice-president of AIE-owner Damosa Land, Inc., said Packwell’s entry into AIE will create jobs and send a good signal to other foreign investors.

“We are happy that they chose the Philippines, specifically Davao for the location of their new plant,” Mr. Lagdameo said in an interview.

Earlier this year, AIE also signed an agreement with a Chinese company that also produces packaging materials for agricultural companies.

“Five nationalities are represented in the industrial park: Filipino, American, Dutch, Chinese and Japanese,” he said.

An initial 22 hectares has been developed within the 63-hectare AIE complex.

“There is still more that we could develop and there are more lots that we can lease out. There is still a lot of room for investment,” Mr. Lagdameo said. — Maya M. Padillo