PASAY CITY – With strengthened investment promotion and facilitation efforts, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) has recorded an increase of 107.15% in investments for the January to April period.
“From January to April 2023, PEZA has approved a total of 60 new and expansion projects worth PhP 33.094 billion investments, which is 107.15% higher as compared to the PhP 15.975 billion approved investments on the same period in 2022,” reported PEZA Director General Tereso O. Panga.
For the same period, the projects are also expected to generate about US$ 1.012 billion exports and create 7,469 direct jobs.
April Board approval
This comes as the PEZA Board greenlighted 14 new and expansion projects expected to bring in PhP 20.556 billion investments and create 2,233 jobs.
Among these 14 projects, seven (7) are into logistics service enterprises, four (4) into export manufacturing, and three (3) IT enterprises. These projects will be located in Baguio, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Cebu, and South Cotabato.
The biggest project pre-qualified by the PEZA Board for FIRB approval is engaged in the manufacturing of biomass fuel products made from Buyo-buyo (Piper aduncum-shrub), with investments worth PhP 19.701 billion.
Increase in PEZA exports
For the first quarter of the year, PEZA also recorded a total of US$ 15.753 Billion actual exports despite the recent report of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on widening trade deficit.
Panga said, “In March alone, we have generated US$5.396 billion export revenues which account for 82.65% of the total country’s US$6.528 Billion exports in March this year.
Strengthened investment promotions
“We believe that we are now reaping the results of the ongoing investment missions of President Ferdinand Marcos and his administration’s investment initiatives and it is now up to us to follow through the pledges,” explained Panga.
The PEZA Chief noted, “We remain positive that more investments will come to the Philippines with the big-ticket investments that we secured during the President’s visits to Japan, US, and Switzerland among others.”
The US$1.3 billion in investment pledges and 6,700 jobs generated from the President’s trip to the US is an indication of the American investors’ renewed interest in the country. Based on the investment climate statement on the Philippines by the US Department of State, “The business environment is notably better within the special economic zones, particularly those available for export businesses operated by PEZA, known for its regulatory transparency, no red-tape policy, and one-stop shop services for investors.”
With the recently working visits of the President and his key cabinet and business delegation to the US, UK, Indonesia, Panga stated that, “We hope to attract FDI in advanced manufacturing, EV industry, RE development, mineral processing, regenerative agriculture, and frontier technologies particularly in digital health, fintech, blockchain, AI and big data—to boost our mix of industries and value-adding in the ecozones.”