Knauf Gips KG, a leading German manufacturer of building systems and equipment, and the German Investment and Development Corporation (Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft, or DEG), signed a partnership agreement to set up Knauf Gypsum Philippines Inc. in Bataan, Philippines. The agreement was signed at the Philippine Embassy in the presence of Ambassador Melita Sta. Maria-Thomeczek and her economic team, including Economic Officer Catherine Torres and Commercial Counsellor Althea Antonio. The two companies will invest EUR40 million in the joint venture project.
The plasterboard production facility is projected to be completed by early 2018, and is expected to create 100 direct jobs, with a production capacity of 16 million m² of plasterboard per annum.
Mr. Manfred Grundke, Knauf CEO, signed for his company, while Management Board Member Ms. Christian Laibach and Director for Corporates Germany Mr. Klaus Helsper signed for DEG.
Knauf had been considering investing in the Philippines since early 2014, and was one of six German businesses that met with then President Benigno S. Aquino III when he visited Germany in September 2014. In August 2015, Mr. Grundke met with Ambassador Thomeczek and her economic team to firm up Knauf’s plans to invest in the Philippines.
Earlier this year, the proposed investment was granted pioneer status by the Board of Investments with the help of the Embassy and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center-Berlin. Pioneer status would mean that the income tax holiday can be granted to the company for a maximum period of six years. “Non-pioneer” status would only grant a maximum income tax holiday incentive of four years.
Aside from generating jobs, Knauf Gypsum Philippines Inc. will help the Philippines meet its plasterboard requirements. The country currently relies on exports for its booming construction industry. Plasterboard has become a popular building material due to its quicker and easier installation, fire resistance, and versatility. (end)