Subic Bay, the historic inlet coveted by Spanish colonisers and developed as a major Unites States naval base, continues to make waves as an investment haven, tourist destination, logistics hub and site of the world’s fourth-largest shipbuilding yard. Situated 100km north of Manila and reborn in 1992 as the first Philippine free port, Subic has become the preferred address of more than 1,500 business locators. Its scenic international airport is also the top choice of flight schools and other aviation-related businesses. Subic’s natural deep seaport and world-class container terminal have attracted some of the world’s top shipping lines, especially amid the port congestion in Manila. Complying with the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code, the port handles bunkering, chandling, cargo survey, onboard and underwater repairs, pilot and other services. With competitive tariff rates and the ability to serve all vessel types, the country’s strategic gateway is primed to tackle the demands of increasing regional trade. A model of a military base’s successful transformation, the prime infrastructure has been managed by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) since the base’s closure. “We have been able to more than triple the number of jobs and attract some US$9 billion in investment pledges since that period,” says Roberto Garcia, SBMA’s chairman and administrator. With ISO-certified facilities and a highly skilled and English-proficient workforce, SBMA offers a strategic location for foreign investors. SBMA reinvests part of its revenues towards the expansion and improvement of its infrastructure to accommodate even more locators. Eco-tourism has likewise become a major earner for Subic, which nurtures a rainforest larger than Singapore. Home to Ocean Adventure, Zoobic Safari and Tree Top Adventure, Subic also hosts sporting events such as the Rolex China Sea Race.
“Many are impressed by Subic’s natural environment,” Garcia says. “But our other selling point is our customerfriendly and worry-free business environment, where investors feel safe and secure while enjoying all the benefits of a free port.”

-South China Morning Post. Page 6