Think Clark: Why Clark Freeport Zone is an Ideal Investment Destination

a business handshakeIf there is one place in the Philippines that perfectly balances nature and urbanization, it’s Clark Freeport and Special Economic Zone.

Clark is a huge mass of land, which covers the cities of Angeles and Mabalacat and the town of Porac in Pampanga, as well as the towns of Capas and Bamban in Tarlac.

The area is rich in tourism and history, as it was the largest US airbase in the Philippines. It’s a hub for many casinos, golf courses, and family hotel and resorts. Clark is also ideal for those who want to live suburban lifestyles.

Apart from its many attractions, Clark is a great place to launch a business. PropertyAccess Philippines, a property listing platform, believes Clark to be one of the “top five emerging real estate boomtowns.” Its activities, according to the company, attract investors beyond Clark’s Angeles-Mabalacat area.

Ease of Doing Business (EODB) in Clark

According to Evan McBride of the Global Gateway Development Corporation, the “very transparent business process” in Clark is the reason the area is an ideal business location for foreign investors. Apart from this, Clark is an ideal investment destination because of the availability of human resources, tax incentives, and high-quality infrastructure in the area.

This business process was further solidified when President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Ease of Doing Business and Government Service Delivery Act in May 2018.

Under the Act, a Business One Stop Shop (BOSS) will be established. The BOSS is a portal for investors to secure business permits, clearances, and authorizations. The Act also mandates the use of a single form for requirements like taxes and sanitary permits.

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Tax Structure in Clark

Clark is a duty-free area. Companies that are registered within the economic zone can enjoy various tax incentives. These companies have a tax exemption for four years, which can be extended up to eight years. After the term, the company is required to pay five percent tax on gross income. The Philippine Economic Zone Authority oversees these regulations and taxes.

Additionally, under the Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992, Clark Freeport Zone will be operated and managed as a different customs’ territory. Importation of raw materials will be tax-free, but all finished products and goods should be exported. Goods sold within the Philippine territory are taxable.

The Build, Build, Build Program

One of the most notable programs under the current administration is the Build, Build, Build program, a series of infrastructure projects within the country.

One of the program’s objectives is to further improve infrastructure within Clark and the transportation to and from the area. The program includes the Subic-Clark Railway project, a 71-kilometer railway linking Subic Bay Freeport Zone and Clark Freeport Zone. The plan is to open the service to public passengers and extend the railway to the New Clark City.

Additionally, the program encompasses the Clark International Airport expansion project. This project, which is the construction of a new international passenger terminal, aims to alleviate the traffic congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

What does this program mean for businesses in Clark? Simple: the project provides greater accessibility for investors and customers.

When choosing a location for a business, investors should consider many things. One of them is the location. After all, a robust local economy is vital to ensure a business’s viability. The better the local economy in a location is, the greater the opportunities and the likelihood of success. If opening a company in the Philippines, investors can always visit Clark.

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