Japan’s Kurabe plans P2-B plant in LIMA Estate — AIC

ABOITIZ InfraCapital, Inc. (AIC) on Thursday said Japanese manufacturing company Kurabe Industrial Philippines, Inc. is investing P2 billion to build a plant in the former’s industrial estate in Batangas province.

In a press release, the Aboitiz group’s infrastructure arm said it had signed, along with Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), an agreement with the foreign firm, which will mark its entry into the Philippines.

“This partnership demonstrates our shared commitment to attracting foreign investment to the Philippines—which aims to generate employment, boost commerce and local trade and reinforce the economy,” said AIC Economic Estates Head Rafael Fernandez de Mesa.

AIC said the deal with Kurabe was signed in Tokyo in November during a Philippine business delegation’s Japan roadshow, which followed the registration agreement between PEZA and Kurabe. Kurabe is said to be classified as an ecozone export enterprise.

The deal includes Kurabe acquiring a 5.9-hectare property within the 800-hectare LIMA Estate, which offers industrial lots to companies, including foreign-led ones that are expanding their local operations.

AIC said the estate in Batangas province’s Lipa-Malvar industrial corridor currently hosts 140 locators, 167 retail stores and restaurants, a four-star hotel, and a transportation hub. More than 4,000 households and at least 65,000 employees are also in the estate.

Aboitiz affiliates offer locators a suite of services for construction, power, and water utilities.

AIC quoted Kanazawa Takenobu, Kurabe Co., Ltd.’s chief executive officer and president as saying that the manufacturer “decided that the Philippines is the best location to disperse our business.”

“[AIC] is undoubtedly our choice partner for this expansion, given its well-established reputation and its strong relationship with Japanese business owners. Knowing that a dedicated Japanese team from AIC is accessible to meet our needs provides us with a sense of security and comfort,” the Kurabe official added.

AIC said Kurabe’s P2-billion investment is allotted for land, factory equipment, and construction of the facility, which is set to break ground in 2024.

It said the facility will manufacture and assemble Kurabe’s automotive products, which include car seat heaters and wiring, and steering wheel heaters and wiring. It added that upon completion, the facility is expected to have a workforce of 2,000 from Batangas and nearby areas.