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Business

PEZA optimistic of luring more Japanese investors

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) is optimistic of attracting more Japanese investments in the country’s ecozones even with the ongoing pandemic.

“Given the current 27 percent share and steady increase of Japanese ecozone investments even amid the pandemic, we remain bullish the Japanese will continue to be our number one investor not only this year, but for the many years to come,” PEZA deputy director general Tereso Panga said.

He said 974 Japanese locators have invested P716.22 billion from 1995 until April 2021, out of the P2.63-trillion total ecozone investments approved by the PEZA.

From January 2020 to April 2021, he said 16 Japanese locators signed registration agreements with PEZA for projects worth P1.86 billion.

Panga said these projects are expected to create 1,142 jobs.

Seven of the projects are for export manufacturing, four for information technology, two for facilities and three for logistics.

Panga said the country’s ecozones may attract more investments from Japan by tapping into the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement for improved market access.

He said the Philippines may likewise benefit from the Japanese government’s move to encourage their local small and medium enterprises, as well as large export manufacturing companies to move out of China to diversify the supply chain.

He also said the PEZA and other IPAs would work hard to attract more investments especially with the recent approval into law of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act which introduces changes to the country’s incentives system to make it more competitive.

“But this will have to be complemented by better governance, more stable economic policymaking, quality labor, adequate infrastructure, and overall ease of doing business in order for the Philippines to improve its FDI (foreign direct investments) performance and keep up with competition for FDI attraction vis-a-vis ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) top five economies,” he said.

As of the first quarter, total investments approved by the PEZA reached P25.382 billion, 54 percent higher than the P16.50 billion in the same period last year.

Last year, total investments approved by the agency reached P95.03 billion, down by 19 percent from  the P117.5 billion in 2019 amid challenges posed by the pandemic.

PHILIPPINE ECONOMIC ZONE AUTHORITY

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