MANILA – The investment pledges approved by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) increased by 6.2 percent to P148 billion to date from P139.6 billion in the same period last year because of expansion activities of ecozone locators.
Majority of the investments are aimed to fund projects in manufacturing, according to Peza director general Lilia de Lima during the International IT-BPM Summit on Tuesday.
Despite the increase, the approved pledges is still less than the agency’s target of P299 billion for the year.
However, De Lima noted that they are confident that they will be able to meet their target for 2014 given that there will be more projects to be approved in the last quarter.
Data showed that end-August, the exports from ecozones are up by 3.8 percent to $29.03 billion from $27.96 billion in 2013. Aside from this, direct employment also increased by 11.73 percent to 1.12 million from 1 million in August 2013.
Peza continues to encourage investors, especially Japanese manufacturing companies and banking institutions to consider putting their money in the country.
Group manager of promotions and public relations group of Peza Elmer San Pascual shared the De Lima is already setting up talks with the Japanese companies in November and Mizuho Bank in December.
“[De Lima] has commitments to go to Japan for two more visits. The one in November is being arranged by our commercial offices in Osaka and Tokyo. There are companies in certain prefectures in Japan that still have a lot of inquiries, and are not that familiar with the Philippines. On our part, we would want to attract those engaged in manufacturing or for export of IT-enabled services like business process outsourcing,” San Pascual explained.
San Pascual noted that Mizuho and other foreign banking institutions are asking the government to open branches at Peza-managed ecozones.
“Banks are the first line of information for Japanese companies looking to put up operations overseas. Big Japanese companies are usually more comfortable if there are Japanese banks that could service them in the Philippines,” San Pascual said.
He added, “We just opened our banking system so the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas can accredit more foreign banks, wanting to [put up offices] in the Philippines, like Korean banks who can cater to the Korean companies operating here.”
Moreover, Peza already met with the executives of the largest bank in Japan the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., and with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.
Both Peza and the Japanese financial institutions have already established agreements that allow them to share information and promotional activities conduct.