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PEZA sees Japanese locators continuing to drive ecozone growth

THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) said Japanese investors are expected to continue driving growth in the economic zone (ecozone) industry, after they accounted for over P8 billion worth of PEZA-approved foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first eight months.

Tereso O. Panga, PEZA officer-in-charge and deputy director general for policy and planning, said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that more Japanese investors are expected in the Philippines despite headwinds in the global economy.

“Given the current 27.2% share of Japan in the total ecozone foreign direct investment and the steady increase/share of Japanese ecozone investment… we remain bullish that the Japanese will continue to be our number one investor in PEZA not only this year but for many years to come,” Mr. Panga said.

In a separate Viber message, Mr. Panga said that the P31.129 billion worth of investments approved by PEZA in the first eight months represents a big jump from the seven-month total of P22.489 billion.  

Mr. Panga said in his Facebook post that the other sources of growth are new ecozone development projects involving Japanese equity, which are awaiting Presidential proclamations of eligibility for tax incentives; and the expansion of current Japanese ecozone locators in the chemicals, automotive and automotive parts, computer and optical products, and transport and logistics industries.  

“PEZA will soon approve and register four big-ticket projects of Japanese industrial giants (in industries like) multilayer ceramic capacitor, brushless DC motors, and biomass carbonization,” Mr. Panga said.

“I got this assurance on continued robustness of Japanese FDI inflows into the Philippines from my recent meetings with the top executives of the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines, Inc. (JCCPI), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the Cavite Economic Zone Investors Association (CEZIA),” he added.

Mr. Panga said Japanese small and medium enterprises are also considering global expansion and upgrading production via JICA’s official development assistance program, and the stimulus program to support the transfer of Japanese manufacturers in China to ASEAN.

He also noted positive developments like the A-level credit rating with stable outlook recently given to the Philippines by the Japan Credit Rating Agency, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation 2021 survey in which the Philippines received the most votes for “good performance of sales in the ASEAN region,” and Japan’s support for infrastructure projects such as roads, aviation, and railways.

“To date, PEZA has registered 903 locator companies with Japanese equity generating total investment of P735.9 billion and providing employment to 350,486 Filipinos,” it said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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