Angeles City is a highly urbanized city in the Philippines. It is recognized as one of the fastest growing cities outside of Metro Manila. This city is blessed with numerous assets such as the most advantageous location, with the easiest access to Clark Freeport Zone (CFZ) and the Subic Freeport Zone (SFZ). These are both special economic zones which attract key attention from many foreign investors. Angeles City, equipped with strategic location and highly educated workforce, indeed, offers an ideal business environment for international capitalists.
Now, it looks like the world market has a lot more business prospects to see in the thriving city of Angeles. A huge railway project which would link Manila to Clark is under construction and once completed, will certainly give Angeles City a better and secured position in the global market.
The North Rail Project
MCRS (Manila Clark Rapid Railway System) aims to build a first class railway system that would run at 100 to 130 km per hour. This would be set with upgrading potential with higher speeds and capacities. This project is expected to promote migration of some of Metro Manila’s population towards Central and Northern Luzon. The railway project centers at DMIA (Diosdado Macapagal International Airport) which is just a few minutes away from Angeles City proper.
The construction of a 76.07 km rail line in between Caloocan City in Metro Manila to CFZ is the initial phase of the North rail project. It aims to reopen rail service to the North and to develop the former Clark Air Base, now known as DMIA, as Asia-Pacific’s regional hub for logistics. North rail project phase 1′s expected date of completion is on 2013.
North Railway Project to Bring Angeles City into the Limelight
Certainly, the north railway project can bring Angeles City’s economy on the top, not only in terms of employment opportunities but also in population count as well as real estate prices. While there is no existing study to foresee the statistics, several researches prove that high speed rails such as the North railway project would greatly impact a city’s economic development and population.
Excerpts from Some Studies on High Speed Rail’s Effect in a City’s Economy and Population Distribution
- Knox (2006) theorizes that the introduction of high speed rail services leads a regional city’s economy to shift from being a generalized local center to a specialized producer in certain domains in the national or international economy.
- (Blum et al. 1997) The service allows current residents of the cities to commute to the other city, eventually leading many of them to move to the city they work in. Residents who live and work in the same city may move to a more distant location they find more desirable that is now high speed rail accessible.
- (Blum et al. 1997) theorize that land consuming industries currently located in the central metropolitan area would relocate because of high speed rail to more peripheral areas of high speed rail network. Such industries would relocate to areas that use the high speed rail service to maintain travel times to existing clients and suppliers comparable to that of the old location, but with lower land cost.
- (Vickerman 1997, 33) High speed rail services’ ability to provide high comfort levels, more productive travel time, and a longer continuous time en route are the keys to high speed rail’s competitiveness in the longer travel time markets.
- (Willigers 2003) The presence of a new or renovated high speed rail station can also add an image premium to an office address.
Looking at these effects of rail services discussed by researchers, Angeles City’s economy can be expected to flourish once the North rail project is completed and put into operation.
Angeles City’s On Hand Business Advantages
The North rail project is a huge and significant add on to Angeles City’s assets beneficial to both local and foreign investors. Here are some of the existing business advantages that entrepreneurs can enjoy.
- High English fluency and literacy rate
- A large number of already established small and large-sized foreign owned ventures operating for years in the city
- Great quality life with local hospitality, thriving nightlife area as well as elite living
- Great tax climate, tax holidays, tax incentives and other attractive bonuses for investors in some industries
- Highly competitive labor costs much lower compared to Metro Manila’s wages
Any wise investor would be aware of all the benefits he and his company can get in starting his venture in Angeles City. International entrepreneurs don’t have to endure the congested area of Metro Manila when they are already provided with a viable option for their business’ location. That is, the business-efficient city of Angeles, Philippines.