High hopes for new PEZA chief

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THE government is set to announce any time this month a new director general for the Philippine Economic Zone Authority’s (PEZA) who is expected to pursue the agency’s mandated task of attracting more investors to come and invest in the country.

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“We hope that PEZA’s new director general will parallel if not surpass the performance of his or her predecessor’s remarkable accomplishments,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said on Friday.

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to shortly appoint a new PEZA chief, whose rank is equivalent to that of an undersecretary in the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Former PEZA Director General Lilia B. de Lima announced her retirement last June 29 after having led PEZA for the past 21 years

Lopez added that PEZA and the DTI’s Investment Promotion Group are expected to attract more investors into the country and encourage them to expand their businesses here particularly inside the country’s economic zones.

“With the government’s seasoned investment promotion team composed of various agencies and offices here and abroad, we will continuously attract investments to generate more jobs for the country’s workforce, and vigorously generate export revenues,” Lopez said.

As of last year, PEZA-registered enterprises directly employed a total of 1.2 million people.

Also as of last year, exports by 3,756 PEZA-registered enterprises reached $43.97 billion, accounting for 70 percent of the country’s total exports.

“In allowing these businesses to flourish in the country, we spur growth not just by creating quality jobs and generating income but also by spawning other economic opportunities particularly in areas outside Metro Manila,” Lopez said.

He also said that the DTI will work on increasing the linkages of these businesses with the domestic economy as well as with micro, small and medium enterprises.

He added that he envisions local entrepreneurs to take part in strengthening the country’s economic growth and improving the quality of life of all Filipinos. In achieving this goal, Lopez mentioned the 7Ms — or mindset changing, mastery, mentoring, money, market access, machines, and models of business.

Lopez said that the new leaders who will be in charge of the country’s investment development and promotion are expected to persistently pursue service with utmost devotion and dedication for the Filipinos and ensure that the people will reap the gains from the country’s sustained economic growth.

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