SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – Known to be among Asia’s icons in real estate and business development, Ronald Wang, chairman of property developer Century 21 Subic Bay, said that the Subic Bay Freeport could be the next Guam.
Wang, who is also chairman and chief executive officer of Century 21 Taiwan, Century 21 Asia Pacific, and Fantai Real Estate Management Co., expressed high hopes for Subic as the next best thing in real estate business.
“Subic is the next Guam in terms of economic growth,” Wang said in a statement read here by Dr. Johnson Yang, chairman of the Subic-based Grand Pillar International Development, Inc. Wang was the guest speaker in the groundbreaking ceremony for Grand Pillar’s Mi Casa Terrace, a P170 million three-storey commercial and office building project to be constructed in the Freeport.
Wang said that when he was invited by Dr. Yang to Subic several years ago, he felt the passion in Subic and the opportunity that awaited in terms of leisure and commercial development. “This is the reason why when I attended the 10th Asian Real Estate Association of America Global Summit held in Hawaii in May , I was inspired and had the confidence to present to all the delegates and participants of the summit that Subic could be the next Guam,” he said.
Guam is a tiny island in the Western Pacific, which attracts more than one million tourists annually from Asia and America because of its more than 20 luxury hotels, duty free shops, indoor aquarium, entertainment venues, and several golf courses in what is dubbed as the Pleasure Island District.
Subic is said to have the potential to replicate Guam’s real estate boom because of its natural attractions that include mountain forests and a bay. Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman and administrator Roberto V. Garcia, meanwhile, said that the proposed three-storey commercial building is another manifestation of the increasing demand for spaces intended for tourism-related businesses.
“There is now a continuous increase of tourist arrivals in the Freeport that investors see it as a good sign to start tourism-related businesses,” Garcia said. He also noted that the Department of Tourism (DoT) cited the Subic Bay Freeport in December 2012 as “one of the top destinations in the country” due to the high influx of local and foreign tourists.
The DoT has also announced in October last year its choice of Subic as the “Premier Convention Capital of Central Luzon.” Dr. Yang, for his part, lauded the SBMA chairman and other officials of the agency for the support they have given to Grand Pillar in setting another milestone for the real-estate company. “I believe that Subic is in the right direction,” Yang said. “It is doing great business again,” he added.