Investment pledges registered with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) surged by nearly 92 percent to P83.7 billion in the first six months of 2013 from the P43.6 billion recorded a year ago.
The bulk of these investments came from manufacturing companies, most of which are based in Japan, Peza director general Lilia de Lima said on the sidelines of the Sonion Philippines Inc. facility inauguration in Batangas.
De Lima noted that a lot of foreign companies are now inclined to put up their respective facilities in the Philippines, given the robust performance of the local economy and the ease of doing business in an economic zone.
“What’s good now is that we’re on the radar of European companies … those from Germany and the UK. In the United States, when we went to New York and San Francisco, I talked to several firms there who are interested. These are from the manufacturing and IT sectors,” De Lima revealed.There also has been “several leads” from automotive firms, but the Peza head declined to cite further details until agreements have been firmed up. What is clear, according to De Lima, is that once these investments materialize and companies start their operations, employment and export figures will also increase. De Lima further assured prospective investors that there is adequate space in economic zones as new areas are being developed in Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and Central Luzon, while existing ones are also being expanded to accommodate new companies. On the average, the utilization rate of existing economic zones are said to be 85 to 90 percent. According to De Lima, Peza has already approved applications for the creation of new economic zones, but these may need presidential proclamations before the areas are developed. At present, there are already 286 economic zones in the country, she said. Also, De Lima revealed that several firms operating in the country’s economic zones will inaugurate new facilities within the year. Some of the companies are Canon Inc. and Brother Industries Ltd., which will be making printers with reported investments of 6 billion yen and 4.23 million yen, respectively; Japanese electronics manufacturer Funai Electric Co. Ltd., which took over the inkjet business of Lexmark International; and electronics components maker Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd., which was earlier reported to have invested 620 million yen.