THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) announced plans to establish various economic zones, including those for domestic small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to entice more investments after PEZA registered a record number of new investments this year.

During a panel discussion last Nov. 27, Director General Charito Plaza said that PEZA accomplished an “unprecedented increase” of 92.98 percent in investments this year “because we expanded the creation of different types of economic zones.”

“In every province and city, there must be economic zone locations to attract all types of industries in the world to come over to the Philippines and invest,” Plaza said.

She said the government’s independent foreign policy has led to new investments from countries like China, Russia, and the Middle East. With the PEZA program of “making available different types of locations for different types of industries, we expect more investments in a few months.”

Basic industries like integrated steel, mineral processing, and crafts are invited to participate in their program, with Plaza noting that the country has untapped land potentials and resources.

Plaza also revealed that PEZA is drafting a map identifying the different economic zone types and locations.

“We will soon be coming up with a Philippine economic zones map, and PEZA is going around every province and city, helping them identify the potential economic zones that can be built in their municipalities,” she said.

“We hope that every investor who will come to the Philippines will simply have to choose which location they want to put in their industry because we will provide these different locations, different types of economic zones.”

She continued that a world congress will be held next year where the economic zones map will be unveiled. “On April 4, 5, and 6, 2018, PEZA will host, in partnership with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the first global eco zone convergence. So we’re inviting industries all over the world to take a look because this is going to be a major roadshow where PEZA is going to market the different economic zones nationwide. It will be done annually starting next year.”

“PEZA is now opening up a new type of economic zone for domestic manufacturing enterprises,” she said. “We will now start to invite small and medium manufacturing enterprises to locate in our domestic eco zones. We are now coming up with a policy on what type of incentives, hopefully similar to the incentives that we give to foreign investors, we can provide.” (Philexport News and Features)