PEZA sets sights on over P250B in investment approvals next year 

PEZA sets sights on over P250B in investment approvals next year 



The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) aims for investment approvals of over P250 billion next year, its top official said on Friday.

“We really want to target over P250 billion because that will bring us back to the peak levels of PEZA during the time of [former PEZA Director-General] Lilia B. De Lima when we were hitting P250-P300 billion,” PEZA Director-General Tereso O. Panga said during a briefing.

PEZA aims for a conservative 15% increase or P202 billion in investments for 2024, he also said.

“Even Secretary Frederick D. Go pointed out that it would appear that we are on a decline, but we are out here to prove that we can regain that status,” Mr. Panga added.

In 2023, PEZA approved P175.71 billion worth of investments, representing a 24.9% increase from the P140.7 billion seen in 2022.

The investment promotion agency also saw an increase in the number of projects approved this year, with 233 projects, a 20.9% rise compared to the 194 projects approved last year.

“I am trying to get the tally of the locations of these projects, but from our records, almost 60% are outside Metro Manila and the metropolis,” Mr. Panga said.

The agency also saw a more than double increase in projected exports, reaching $4 billion, up from $1.98 billion last year, while projected employment grew by 19.4% to 40,527 from 33,951 a year ago.

The agency, Mr. Panga noted, saw a decline in actual direct exports and employment as of October.

“As of October, there was a decline in exports and employment but we are also hoping to surpass our 2022 targets because if we look at exports for 2022, that is an average of $4.5 billion a month,” he said.

“There are about two months left so that will be about $9 billion, and we are already at $53.29 so just a billion dollars lower, so we can easily reach this,” he added.

In the January-to-October period, PEZA’s actual direct exports amounted to $53.29 billion, a decline of 1.8% from $54.24 billion last year.

Actual direct employment for the first ten months reached 1.82 million, slipping 1.78% from 1.85 million seen in the same period a year ago.

“Our forecast, which we hope to achieve in 2024, is to be able to hit 80,000 to 100,000 new jobs so that way we can already contribute 10% out of the total target of the IBPAP (IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines) which is 1 million jobs by 2020,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mr. Panga said that the largest investment in economic zones (ecozones) this year came from Raedang International Builders and Developer Corp., amounting to P27.18 billion.

The second and third largest investments came from Green Energy Torrefaction Technology, Inc. (P19.7 billion) and Philippine Manufacturing Co. of Murata, Inc. (P12.42 billion).

“These are big companies that are here for long-haul. These are the ones reinvesting and I think 60% of our project approvals are reinvestment which really speaks volume for the Philippines’ PEZA, because they are happy with their investments,” Mr. Panga said.

“A lot more bigger projects will be registered with us by the first quarter next year,” he added.

Japan was still the top source of ecozone investments, accounting for 27.34% of the total investments. It was followed by Philippines (23.19%), US (14.82%), Netherlands (11.68%), and UK (6.84%).

For next year, Mr. Panga said that the country’s best bet for sourcing locator investments includes Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and China.

“I think in the past five years, the list has not really changed except for the increase in investments from Korea and Singapore. Taiwan is also inching up and China is coming in quite strong also. So these are our best bets for this year and next year,” he said.

He also said that the country can expect more investments from the US as additional delegations are scheduled to visit starting next year.—Justine Irish DP. Tabile

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