Investment pledges approved by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) for economic zones have grown 25 percent in January-April this year from the corresponding four-month period last year, boosted by the increasing number and expansion of foreign manufacturing companies in the country.
The amount of investment pledges for January to April stood at a total P72.4 billion, up from P57.8 billion a year earlier.
Among those approved were new projects by a Filipino-Japanese fabricated metal manufacturer; a Japanese semiconductor manufacturer; three separate Japanese electronics companies; a Filipino-owned agro-industrial enterprise; and a Dutch IT company.
Tokai Rika Co. Ltd., a leading Japanese manufacturer of automotive switches and biggest supplier for Toyota’s global operations, is expanding its Philippine plant with a P1 billion investment amid strong demand for cars from North America and the Asean markets.
The expansion project, which will employ 300 workers in addition to the existing 982-strong workforce, is set for completion this year.
Elmer San Pascual, group manager of the promotions and public relations group of PEZA, said in a text message that other investments approved were from new and expansion projects in the manufacturing, electronics and semiconductor industries, specifically from a German electronics company, and a Japanese motor vehicle and spare parts manufacturer.
Also contributing to the rise in investment commitments are the expansion projects of an American electronics company; a Japanese automotive parts manufacturer; a Dutch IT firm at two different sites; Taiwanese electronics firm; a Danish electronics company and an American call center firm.
San Pascual said that investments in ecozone, IT parks and building developments were also “significant” additions during the four-month period this year.
Last year, investments approved by the PEZA for the entire 2013 fell to P276.126 billion, down 11.48 percent from the P311.949 billion posted in 2012.
The latest available data for exports from the zone showed that for the January to February 2014 period, the value of shipments reached $6.750 billion, or 7 percent higher than the $6.306 billion recorded in the same period in 2013.
In terms of employment, a total of 1.059 million individuals were employed in PEZA’s economic zones as of end-February, a 17 percent increase from the 905,769 employed in the comparable period last year.