PEZA wants to attract next gen tech locators

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) aims to attract investments in new technologies and high value products in the semiconductors and electronics industry to support the growth of the sector and enable the country to climb up the value chain.

PEZA deputy director general Tereso Panga said the investment promotion agency took part in a recent roundtable discussion with logistics firm DHL and the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation Inc. on re-imagining the semiconductor and electronics supply chain.

“PEZA will strive to bring in strategic, big-ticket, more sophisticated and higher-margin products and services such as smart and digital technologies, robotics and AI (artificial intelligence)-based solutions so that the country can move up the value chain,” he said.

He said PEZA would take advantage of the passage of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act and other economic reforms that seek to make the country more attractive to investors such as the amended Foreign Investments Act, Retail Trade Liberalization Act and Public Service Act.

“With the semiconductor and electronics as traditionally our number one sector, we remain committed to strongly supporting its growth and diversification and in attracting emerging technologies and high value industries through aggressive investment promotions and by providing for the best business ecosystem in the ecozones,” he said.

He said the sector continues to grow and respond to the changing needs of the market, even as it faces technological disruption.

PEZA director general Charito Plaza said the manufacture of semiconductors and electronics for export is one of the biggest sources of investments in the country’s ecozones.

There are 1,661 semiconductor and electronics manufacturing companies registered with the PEZA, with P924.565 billion worth of investments or 34.56 percent of the total investments in ecozones from 1995 to 2021.

The sector, which had $29.445 billion worth of exports last year, has created 395,069 jobs.

Panga said the PEZA would be addressing the efficiency factors investors consider in order to make the country a more attractive destination for investments in the electronics sector.

The PEZA will also promote the growth of research and development for the introduction of innovative technologies and the commercialization of products or services, as well as entrepreneurship and start-up ecosystem through the establishment of more Knowledge, Innovation, Science and Technology parks in the universities and colleges in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology, academe and the industry.

To improve ease of doing business, PEZA is re-engineering its frontline services to further improve processing time, eliminate redundant requirements and reduce clients’ compliance cost.

Following the launch of its online payment system last year, Panga said PEZA intends to automate more agency application forms and permits such as the facilitation of visas, building permits, and movement of ecozone cargoes.

He said the investment promotion agency would also work on the amendment of the 27-year-old PEZA law to strengthen the ecozone program and accelerate ecozone development while ensuring existing locators stay and continue to expand operations, and new investors from diversified product or service sectors enter the country to cater both to domestic and export markets.

“We will collaborate closely with our partner agencies, industry associations and other ecozone stakeholders so together, we can contribute to increasing adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies and improving performance across the value and supply chain—and thereby, enhancing the competitiveness of the Philippines as the preferred investment destination in the region,” he said.

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