Investment pledges registered by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) surged by 89.43 percent to P132.66 billion in January to July 2017 from P70.03 billion in the same period last year.
The investments involved 362 projects, PEZA Director General Charito Plaza said in a press conference on Tuesday, higher by 17.9 percent from the 308 projects registered a year ago.
Plaza said the increase reflected investor optimism in the Philippines as well as active promotions to attract foreign companies to locate in the country.
Seventy percent of the PEZA locators were said to be from overseas, mostly based in Japan, the United States, and South Korea.
The PEZA chief said investments for economic zone development were the key drivers this year, accounting for 63 percent of total investment approvals for the first semester of 2017.
These amounted to P75.41 billion, 95.2 percent higher compared to P38.64 billion on the first half of 2016.
For the same period, manufacturing investment approvals rose 26.9 percent to P21.55 billion this year from P16.99 billion.
IT investment approvals, however, declined 33.5 percent in first semester to P8.14 billion from P12.22 billion.
“Most of our BPOs and call centers locators are American companies, so they are waiting for clearer policy of Trump administration, because of the American first policy of Trump administration,” Plaza said.
“Nevertheless, none of those existing BPO and call centers pulled out. They stayed, and some even took the risk of still expanding by putting up new branches in different parts of the country,” she added.|
Employment in PEZA ecozones nationwide, meanwhile, increased by 6.41 percent to 1.36 million in the first half from 1.28 million.
Export revenues grew by 12.37 percent to $25.05 billion from $22.3 billion a year ago.