SAN FRANCISCO—To doubting Thomases out there—the news is true. Numbers do not lie. The Philippines IS Asia’s rising tiger. A number of global credit rating agencies have upgraded the Philippine’s rank to BBB- (Investment Grade). The New York Times calls the Philippines the “Newest Bright Spot in Asia.”

pezaPowerhouse1 Director General De Lima with Trade Commissioner Michael Ignacio

Lilia B. de Lima said as much to a group of businessmen and community leaders at a breakfast briefing held at Dentons Law Offices on Market Street. The director general of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and undersecretary of Trade and Industry led the briefing, themed “Business and Investment Opportunities in Philippine Economic Zones as gateways to the 600 Million Strong South East Asian Market” hosted by CalAsia.

Director General Lilia de Lima PEZA with California-Asia Business Council Executive Director, Jeremy Potash.

pezaPowerhouse2

Joining her was Arlen Chou, president and COO of Rucker & Kolls Inc., an American firm that has been running a full operation in one of the PEZA facilities the past six years. Chou confirmed that his business is thriving inside PEZA. Rucker & Kolls is the original patent holder of the probe card and a leader in providing reliable testing of complicated testing requirements.

pezaPowerhouse3 The breakfast briefing was held at Dentons Law Offices on Market Street in close cooperation with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center Silicon Valley. (from left to right: Michael Alfred V. Ignacio, Philippine Trade Commissioner provided an economic update on the Philippines and Arlen Chou, President and COO of Rucker & Kolls, Inc gave a testimonial presentation, Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon, Deputy Consul General, represented the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco

Leaving no doubt among the attendees that PEZA is indeed the “gateway to the Asean market in a leading global emerging economy,” Dr. de Lima said that of the 86 percent total commodity and service exports from the Philippines, 76 percent comes from inside PEZA.

pezaPowerhouse4

The Director General of PEZA and DTI Undersecretary, Lilia de Lima, presenting on Business and Investment Opportunities in Philippine Economic Zones as gateways to the 600 Million-Strong South East Asian Market.

The World Bank’s Foreign Investment Advisory Services of the International Finance Corporation recently cited the Philippines for having the best practices among economic zones worldwide.

PEZA is the first and only government agency today that is rated ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Systems (QMS). It is one of the most widely sought-after certifications, being the global standard seal of good housekeeping. De Lima intends to get an ISO certification for being green soon.