SBMA Chief reels in $10-M hotel project,
other US investment prospects
By Jason Joshua Garcia
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma has drawn out strong interest from prospective investors in the United States during her meetings with various business groups in the states of Texas and California last week.
The prospects included a $10-million commitment for a hotel operation and management project from owners of the Ramada Hotel in National City, California, Eisma said in a press briefing on June 26.
The other prospects included projects in ship repair, refrigeration facility operation, home care, Fintech paypal system, and green energy, she added.
Eisma recently concluded a 10-day business roadshow in Texas and California, meeting with business and civic leaders through Filipino expatriate communities and promoting Subic Bay as a gateway to global business under the SBMA Global Marketing Initiative (GMI).
In Houston, Texas she discussed Subic Bay’s synergies and trade prospects with Port of Houston Authority officials led by chief commercial officer John Moseley, and then signed a cooperation agreement to expand SBMA’s global network with Leonides Reyes, president of the Filipino-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston (FACCGH).
In Los Angeles, Eisma met with top executives of the Los Angeles Port Authority and the Federation of Philippine American Chambers of Commerce at the Port of Los Angeles in California, taking the opportunity to bridge industry and expertise to develop trade and connectivity between the Port of LA and the Port of Subic.
The SBMA offical also briefed William A. Hall, president of the Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce, and chamber members who were keen on developing cold storage facility, ship repair, and cruise ship home port projects in Subic.
With plans to develop trade synergy between the Port of San Diego and Subic Bay, Eisma also met separately with San Diego Port Commissioner Rafael Castellanos and Director Matthew Andersen of the U.S. Commercial Service in San Diego, and San Diego International Airport Senior Director Hampton Brown and Domenic D’Ambrosio, VP for Marketing & Innovation.
Finally at a Business Forum in San Diego on June 14, Chairman Eisma highlighted business opportunities in the Subic Bay Freeport in the sectors of manufacturing, shipbuilding, ICT, renewable energy, retirement, leisure and tourism.
Eisma’s U.S. trade mission successfully concluded with the receipt of two awards: a “Bayani” award from the Olongapo City Bayanihan Club (OCBC) of San Diego County, and a citation from National City Vice Mayor Ron Morrison.
The first, which was signed by OCBC Chairwoman Elen Nobles and Vice Chairman Jimmy Yap, recognized Eisma’s exemplary contributions “by opening channels of opportunities in job creation, business development, and community-based programs” and hailed her as “a radiant symbol of optimism to the Filipino communities globally.”
The citation from Morrison, meanwhile, cited the SBMA official for “her vision and inclusive leadership in public service by creating economic opportunities for the families of Olongapo City with ties in San Diego, California USA.”