Pasay City – Continuing to build stronger trade and economic ties with neighboring countries, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and the Aboitiz InfraCapital benchmarked the Philippines as an investment haven in Asia in the recently concluded “Philippine-Korean Investment Forum” held in South Korea last 19 October 2022.
The successful forum is part of the five-day outbound investment mission in South Korea in partnership with Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc., the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Board of Investments (BOI), and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) - Seoul also joined the forum that is aimed at attracting more Korean investors to the Philippines.
Further, the week preparation for Philippine-Korean Investment Forum up to the actual event was facilitated by PTIC-Seoul Commercial Counselor, Mr. Jose Ma "Jojie" Dinsay and Her Excellency Theresa Dizon-De Vega, the Philippine Ambassador to South Korea.
Leading the PEZA delegation to the investment mission and in behalf of PEZA Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Director General Tereso O. Panga, OIC Deputy Director General (DDG) for Finance and Administration and Promotions and Public Relations Group (PPRG) Manager Aleem Siddiqui M. Guiapal stated, “PEZA is eagerly conducting investment promotion in the last quarter of 2022 to sustain its approved PhP 40 billion of investments [from January to September 2022].”
Mr. Aleem Siddiqui Guiapal, OIC-Deputy Director General for Finance and Administration and Group Manager of PEZA's promotions arm as one of the speakers at the PH-SoKor investment forum held at the Hotel President, Seoul, South Korea in coordination with the Embassy of the Philippines in Korea and Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC).
“This is a response to the call of President Bongbong Marcos to increase our FDI. An increase in investment means more jobs for Filipinos. And more jobs mean better and quality of life for our kababayans. This is what investment forum is all about,” Guiapal added.
Likewise, the head of Aboitiz InfraCapital Economic Estates and President of LIMA Land, Inc. Rafael Fernandez de Mesa mentioned, “These investment missions present a good opportunity to share Aboitiz InfraCapital’s success in building world-class, smart, and sustainable economic estates in the Philippines.”
PEZA OIC Deputy Director General for Finance and Administration Mr. Aleem Guiapal with Mr. Rafael Fernandez de Mesa, Head of Aboitiz InfraCapital Economic Estates and President of LIMA Land, Inc. and Cebu Industrial Park Developers, Inc. and the Philippine team paid a visit to the Office of Her Excellency Theresa Dizon-De Vega, the Philippine Ambassador to South Korea, ahead of the Philippine-South Korea Investment Forum in Seoul.
More South Korean investments
Guiapal stated, “To date, there are 251 South Korean locators contributing PhP 89.864 Billion in investments from 1995 up to June 2022. These companies also generate US$ 1.102 Billion in exports and employ 44,359 workers as of August 2022.”
According to him, “These companies are engaged in activities such as the manufacturing of radio, television and communication equipment and apparatus; fabricated metal products, except machinery and equipment; rubber and plastic products; real estate activities; and wearing apparel.”
De Mesa also said, “What we’re expecting here is to generate more awareness. We don’t necessarily expect the investments to come tomorrow, but by presenting the incentives that the government is offering, the high quality of developments that we have, we hope to generate interest and to attract new investors.”
Further, Guiapal shared that “We are optimistic that PEZA has at least four (4) big companies of lead of new locators from the manufacturing and electronic vehicle industries and one (1) potential joint collaboration on waste management with South Korea.”
During the five-day investment mission, PEZA and Aboitiz InfraCapital delegates visited selected smart cities and economic zones namely Incheon Free Economic Zone, Gyeonggi Free Economic Zone, and Busan-Jinhae Free Economic Zone. These ecozones are known for their best practices for park operations and management, smart city technologies, sustainability features, ESG programs, utilities and services, waste management systems, solar energy, and transportation services.
Aboitiz InfraCapital Head De Mesa said, “Those who already have investments in the Philippines, it would be easier for them to make decisions on expanding since they are already there. But here, our target is those who are not in the Philippines yet and who are thinking about places where to open new factories or relocate from other countries.”
PEZA also shares the same sentiment with Aboitiz highlighting the importance of continuously expanding, transforming, and further establishing the Philippines as the preferred investment destination in the region, attract more investors, and continue creating high-value-added jobs for the Filipino people.