PEZA in closer collaboration with PH Embassy in Saudi Arabia and LGUs for ecozone development
02 July 2021 (Friday)
Pasay City – The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) had its second Global Biz Forum this 2021 with His Excellency Adnan V. Alonto, Ambassador of the Philippines to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), along with the Visayas and Mindanao LGUs on Tuesday, June 29, for closer collaborations towards implementing economic zone development in the countryside.
This is part of the Global Biz afternoon forum after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) respectively with the Technological University of the Philippines (TUPV), the University of the Cordilleras (UC), and LGUs in Hinobaan and Sipalay, Negros Occidental.
PEZA Director General Charito B. Plaza said, “By thinking global and acting local as our worldview in PEZA, we want to make the Philippines as a big contributor to the global supply chain. We created platforms in PEZA such as the Transformation Roadmap so we can explore and build new partnerships with institutions in the government and private sectors locally and abroad. This shall promote and enhance the competitiveness of the Philippine exports and investments.”
His Excellency Adnan V. Alonto virtually attended the Global Biz to express its support to PEZA’s mandate. He stated, “It is high time that we feature the potentials of Visayas and Mindanao local governments to the world as this can help the Philippines invite more investments.”
Adnan also added the importance of attaining herd immunity against the COVID-19 citing, “We hope by the time we reach December 2021, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will have achieved total herd immunity and I also wish the same to the Philippines.”
On potential ecozones in the countryside
In support to PEZA’s efforts in accelerating rural progress in the countryside as provided by the Administrative Order (AO) 18, the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) is focusing on the development of renewable energy, manufacturing, agro-economic, agro-fishery sectors, and potential economic zones in Mindanao particularly in the Bangsamoro region and Lanao del Sur.
On behalf of Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” F. Piñol, MinDA Executive Director Dr. Janet M. Lopoz said, “We realize the need to strengthen more on the agricultural and food [products] in Mindanao as this remains to be our anchor. Our initiatives on ecozone development is anchored on the Mindanao 2030 Vision that is driven by internationally competitive social and environmentally responsible enterprises built on judicious and sustainable management.”
Likewise, the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Tourism of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Executive Director Mohammad Basher L. Abas stated that “ecozones in BARMM can be established either through private initiatives, LGU initiatives with the Autonomous Regional Government, and Autonomous Regional Initiative.”
“Our goal is to begin and promote jobs and investments in our area and establish at least one economic zone in each of the BARMM provinces: Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Lamitan, and Cotabato,” Abas added.
The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) Director Saleha P. Sacar said, “The Marawi City LGU headed by Mayor Majul Gandamra is finally initiating the registration of his proposed lands for the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in BARMM, Cotabato, and Davao and are now scheduled for ocular inspection.”
Under the leadership of Director General Plaza, PEZA is in close collaboration with LGU partners in creating more economic zones to establish different industries that shall generate jobs and investments especially in the rural areas of the Philippines.
7% target in the increase of investments
With the anticipation of more interests from local and foreign entities and the recent passage of the CREATE Law, PEZA is confident in reaching the 7% investment growth target for 2021.
During a virtual press conference on Tuesday, Deputy Director General Tereso Panga said, “PEZA’s target is an improvement from our last year’s PhP 95.03 billion. We are looking at an increment of about PhP 6 billion and we have a strong basis for this projection because of the increasing foreign direct investments (FDI).”
According to Panga, “The United Conference on Trade and Development in 2020 has reported that FDIs in the Philippines rose by 29% despite the pandemic, while the trend in other Southeast Asian countries is the opposite.”
PEZA remains positive that it can attract more investments into the Philippines especially with the enactment of CREATE.