The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) announced on Thursday that it had approved P95.03 billion worth of investment in 2020, or a decline of 18 percent from the P117.5-billion projects approved the previous year.
Some 326 projects got PEZA Board’s nod last year, of which 217 projects were from the manufacturing sector and 109 projects from the information technology and business process outsourcing (IT BPO) industry, the agency said in a statement.
PEZA in in charge of attracting and managing investments into the country’s freeport and export processing zones.
In terms of value, investment commitments in the manufacturing sector amounted to P34.44 billion, 13.4-percent higher than 2019’s pledges of P30.34 billion.
For the IT BPO industry, investment pledges slipped by less than 1 percent to P17.41 billion last year, from P17.58 billion worth of projects in 2019.
“Despite the pandemic that began in 2020 and affected global economy and trade, PEZA remains to perform at its best with the help of its registered business enterprises,” PEZA director general Charito Plaza said in a statement.
Moreover, investment pledges from foreign sources increased by 21.3 percent in 2020 to P59.73 billion from P49.26 billion the previous year.
Top foreign investors in PEZA in the previous year were from the United States, United Kingdom, Belgium, Ireland, Spain, China, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and Saudi Arabia.
“PEZA is grateful for the continued trust and confidence of our investors despite the difficulties we faced in 2020. This shows that PEZA is strong and actively pursuing its mandate, harnessing Philippine investment competitiveness, and creating opportunities for many Filipinos,” Plaza added.
On the other hand, investments from local firms plunged by 68.3 percent to P35.3 billion last year from P68.29 billion in 2019.
The PEZA chief said the agency remains committed to attract more investments, generate more exports, and create more jobs for Filipinos despite the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“We hope that coming 2021, we will be able to attract more foreign direct investments in the country, keep the PEZA brand of service renowned worldwide, and help the Philippine economy bounce back and even become a self-reliant, self-sustaining, and resource-generating investment haven in Asia,” Plaza said. CURRENTPH