AFAB inks business ties with Poland’s LRDA

MARIVELES, Bataan—The Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (Afab) has forged business ties with Lódź Regional Development Agency (LRDA) in Poland in an effort to broaden its circle of contacts in the international business community and boost growth in the emerging economic zone.

Afab Chairman and Administrator Emmanuel Pineda said he has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with LRDA President Przemyslaw Andrzejak and Vice President Agnieszka First in Lódź early this week as part of an investment mission in Europe.

The LRDA, which delivers support services to both public and private business players in the Lódź region, seeks to boost the innovativeness of companies and the development of information society in the area.

It provides, among others, assistance in design and planning, implementation and monitoring of development strategies, local development and business incubation programs, as well as feasibility studies of projects that apply for funding from the European Union.

Pineda, who held a series of meetings with LRDA officials last week, said that, under the MOU, the two agencies “vowed to cooperate closely to establish strong and prospective business relations.”

“Hopefully, this MOU is the start of a very important partnership,” Pineda said in a statement on Thursday, adding that Afab has promised to assist all entrepreneurs from the region of Lódź in locating to the FAB and the Philippines.

Meanwhile, the support of the LRDA “will help in assuring investors from Poland and the [Lódź] region that they will have partners toward success when they locate [here],” he added.

With this agreement, Pineda said Afab is optimistic that it can lure more European investors to the Bataan Freeport.

The Bataan ecozone hosts several European manufacturers. These include Pietrucha Manufacturing Philippines, a Polish firm producing polyvinylchloride pipes; Essilor Manufacturing Philippines, a French company that manufactures lenses; the German-owned Chun Chiang Enterprise Manufacturing, which makes pants and coats; and BFD from the United Kingdom, which produces army boots.

Pineda said that under the arrangement, the Afab and LRDA will organize and hold business missions, as well as meetings and seminars focused on possible cooperation opportunities.

Pineda also noted that during the signing ceremony, Andrzejak expressed hope that businesses from the Lódź area would be able to establish foothold in the Philippines, especially in the areas of food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, construction, chemicals, bio-economy, housing, renewable energy and transportation.

Lódź, which is the third-largest city in Poland and in the central part of the country, had seen the arrival of many foreign companies in recent years, including the Indian IT company Infosys and the American computer giant Dell.

Pineda said Afab’s partnership with LRDA would help the Bataan Freeport attain its vision of becoming a center of trade, innovation and sustainable development in Asia.

The Freeport Area of Bataan is now acknowledged as one of the fashion manufacturing hubs in the Philippines, with a growing cluster of companies producing high-end brands of apparel, shoes, bags, jewelries and accessories.


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