MANILA — San Miguel, the constantly diversifying Philippine conglomerate, is taking one more step away from brewing and opening an industrial estate.
The company announced on Tuesday plans to develop the SMC Davao Industrial Estate, a 2,000-hectare industrial park in the southern Philippines.
Foreign as well as local businesses are being invited to set up shop there to enjoy tax breaks and other benefits offered by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.
The park will have a 600-megawatt, coal-fired power plant due for partial commissioning in the next few months, as well as a port and airport.
San Miguel’s existing real estate unit has mainly developed residential projects. The entry into industrial estates comes in the wake of mounting foreign investment in the Philippines, particularly in business process outsourcing and manufacturing.
San Miguel already does business with Japanese and South Korean companies, and may be able to draw on these connections to attract foreign companies considering the Philippines as an alternative to China, where wages have been rising.
After growth slowed in its traditional beverage, food, and packaging businesses, San Miguel embarked in 2008 on an aggressive expansion plan. It diversified into power generation, oil refining, road and transport infrastructure, mining, and cement. Some earlier investments in power distribution and aviation have already been divested.
San Miguel also plans to relaunch its mobile service this year in a bid to break the existing duopoly in Philippine telecommunications.