THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) reported investments increased by 50.51 percent during the first three months of the year from a year earlier, its director general said.
“We are happy to report that for the first three months this year, PEZA investments increased by 50.51 percent to P51.335 billion compared with P34.107 billion in the same period last year,” PEZA Director General Charito Plaza said during the 22nd PEZA Anniversary Investors’ Recognition Night on Tuesday.
“This speaks a lot for the reinvigorated and enthusiastic confidence of both our foreign and local investors to the present and decisive leadership of the country,” Plaza said.
She said that PEZA is very aggressive in getting more investors, especially manufacturers of semiconductors from US.
As of end-2016, there were 1.3 million directly employed by PEZA companies. “It is said that in the electronics and semiconductor industry sector, for every one direct employment created, another eight is indirectly created,” Plaza said.
Since not all PEZA companies are into electronics and semiconductor, direct and indirect employment created by PEZA companies will reach 5.44 million, she added.
Meanwhile, the PEZA was able to get investment pledges in agricultural and halal hubs from the Middle East.
“During our Middle East visit, we were able to gather $500 million in investment pledges that will be signed as an MOU [memorandum of understanding]when the President [Rodrigo Duterte] will go to the Middle East,” Plaza told reporters late Tuesday.
Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are more interested in agriculture. They will invest in agro-industrial economic zones and halal hubs and production zones, Plaza said.
President Duterte is scheduled to visit the Middle East from April 10 to 16.
In February, the PEZA conducted an investment seminar in the Middle East ahead of to the state visit of President Duterte.
“PEZA will go to Middle East together with Department of Foreign Affairs [DFA], Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the owners of the identified new economic zones,” Plaza said.
She added that “some are local executives, private land owners. They will join us, it will be a roadshow an investment seminar in Riyad, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Dubhai and to be followed by Bharain, Kuwait and Oman.”