PEZA targets 15% “conservative” hike in investments for 2024

  • The Philippine Economic Zone Authority eyes a 15% year-on-year increase in approved investments to P202 billion in 2024
  • For 2023, the agency green lit P175.70 billion in investments, up 24.88% from the same period last year
  • Projected exports reached US$4.001 billion in 2023, higher by 101.72% year-on-year
  • Projected employment for 2023 also improved 19.37% to 40,527
  • Moving forward, PEZA will continue to create more ecozones in rural and new growth areas, promote and acquire investors, and streamline its systems and applications

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) is targeting a “conservative” 15% year-on-year increase in approved investments to P202 billion in 2024 even as it surpassed its 2023 investment target.

The agency also eyes 80,000 to 100,000 new jobs next year, according to PEZA director general Tereso Panga in a press conference on December 22.

For 2023, PEZA approved a total of P175.70 billion in investments, 24.88% more than P140.7 billion in 2022, higher than the 10% target increase for the year.

The 2023 investments came from 233 projects, which are 20.10% up from 194 projects in 2022.

Of the total, 116 were new/expansion projects in exports, 42 were in information technology, 30 in ecozone facilities, 19 in ecozone developments, 18 in ecozone logistics, six in the domestic market, and two in ecozone utilities.

In terms of projected exports, PEZA recorded a total of US$4.001 billion in 2023, up 101.72% from last year’s $1.983 billion.

Projected employment for 2023 also improved 19.37% to 40,527 from 33,951 in 2022.

The growth in projected exports and employment in 2023 were higher than PEZA’s targets of 9% and 8%, respectively.

For this year, PEZA noted a significant increase in investments from South Korea, Taiwan, China, Australia, and the European Union (EU) owing to free trade agreements and bilateral investment agreements, as well as capitalizing on new strategies such as China Plus One Strategy.

PEZA also expects ecozone exports to the EU to significantly increase given the latter’s continued grant of Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus privileges to Philippine exporters.

Top exports remain dominated by the electronics, IT, metals, and automotive sectors.

Moving forward, Panga said PEZA will continue to create more ecozones in rural and new growth areas, focusing on new frontiers of ecozone development, including the establishment of more eco-industrial parks and the fifth public ecozone.

Further, PEZA is looking into the possibility of attracting investments related to the aerotropolis and e-commerce segments.

The investment promotions agency will continue its promotions and investor acquisitions, focusing on increased “friend shoring” in new areas such as North America and the EU, while also sustaining its efforts in retention of existing registered business enterprises and capitalizing on their networks.

For next year, scheduled outbound investment missions include those to the US, Japan, China and Taiwan.

The agency is currently engaged in negotiations with other government agencies for the use of certain government lands for the establishment of the country’s first “mega ecozone” to be located in Palawan. Panga said PEZA will likewise collaborate with the Maharlika Investment Corp. to pursue the mega zone project.

PEZA will continue to push for the amendment of its charter to focus on the development of new ecozones and reinforce the cross-border doctrine, while also pushing for amendments to the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act.

On streamlining systems and applications, several projects are in the pipeline, including, the online VISA system, integrated financial management system, engineering permit assessment and monitoring system, digitization management system, and the digital marketplace. – Roumina Pablo

READ: PEZA approved investments surge 147% from Jan-Nov