ONE of the world’s leading manufacturer of tennis balls has taken its first step in transferring their major operations to the Philippines, having signed a 25-year-lease agreement with Phividec Industrial Authority in Misamis Oriental on Friday.
HEAD International Holding GmbH chief executive officer Gerald Skrobanek, who sealed the lease with Phividec Industrial Authority administrator Franklin Quijano, said that high labor costs and rezoning in their tennis manufacturing plant in Shenzhen, China forced them to seek elsewhere.
That elsewhere is the Philippines.
“Labor here is relatively cheaper than in China and workers can adapt easily. This is of course matched with a sound business climate in your country,” Skrobanek told Mindanao Daily News in an exclusive interview.
Sound business climate meant that HEAD International Holding GmbH must erect its plant in an economic zone, thereby avoiding high taxes and gaining investment incentives instead.
Skrobanek – who owns a retreat house somewhere in Visayas – instantly chose Mindanao, having been briefed of a surplus of electricity in the island.
It was at this point that an official of the Board of Investments (BOI) recommended to Skrobanek to scout on the Phividec Industrial Estate, a sprawling economic zone in Misamis Oriental whose revenues go to veterans’ care, for the possible location of his plant.
From then, things moved forward.
Skrobanek revealed that if plans don’t miscarry, HEAD International Holding GmbH’s plant at Phividec will break ground in April.
The plant will occupy a five-hectare area and has the capacity to produce ten million tennis balls each year, mostly to be exported to North America and western Europe. It is expected to employ 700 workers once operational.
Quijano welcomed the entry of HEAD International Holding GmbH in the country, saying it is a boost to the local rubber industry here.
Here in the Philippines, rubber production is mostly concentrated in Bukidnon, Zamboanga, Basilan and North Cotabato.
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