20 January 2022 (Thursday)
Pasay City – In the recent and first “Global Biz with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA)” held in 2022 on Tuesday, PEZA aims to expand its investment reach to more American business entrepreneurs and investors in operating or new economic zones in the country as both countries continue to harness their bilateral economic ties.
Held via online platform in zoom on January 18, PEZA Director General Charito B. Plaza said, “The Americans continue to be one of the top three biggest contributor of investments in the Philippines under PEZA. Stronger bilateral ties between the USA and Philippines are [indeed] vital in facilitating our mutual trade and investment agenda.”
According to the PEZA Chief, “According to our data in the 3rd quarter of 2021, we have 420 American enterprises registered with PEZA. The American-owned enterprises in PEZA contribute to P400.668 Billion of investments, $6.761 Billion of exports, and employ 330,906 workers.”
These investments came from major industries in the country such as the business process outsourcing (BPO), call center operations, software development, and exports in machinery, electrical, and IT-related equipment.
Philippine Ambassador to the United States of America His Excellency Jose Manuel G. Romualdez has expressed his gratitude to PEZA saying, “The Philippines is ready to do more business with the United States. Our celebration of 75 years of Philippine-US relations this year culminates today’s Global Biz with PEZA as the most opportune time for the Philippines and the United States to engage in more economic partnerships with the participation of both our countries’ dynamic business community.”
On potential American companies in the Philippines, the Philippine Ambassador highlighted, “There are very good indications that e-commerce in the country will only continue to grow and with this growth, come the opportunities for investors [to come and invest] in the Philippines.”
With the US economy advancing to other pressing economic priorities, Ambassador Romualdez is encouraging the country to also do the same. He said, “With ecozones already providing necessary infrastructure and incentives, the Philippines can engage in climate-ready investments and infrastructure, supply chain resilience, technology advancements, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity.”
Philippine Ambassador to the United States of America His Excellency Jose Manuel G. Romualdez delivered his message of gratitude and support to PEZA’s Global Biz Forum featuring USA on 18 January 2022.
Philippine-US investment and COVID-19 vaccination endeavors
Director General Plaza highlighted some of the top American companies that are PEZA-registered namely, “The JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A – Philippine Global Service Center, American Power Conversion, C and U Philippines, Inc., Teletech Customer Care Management Philippines, Inc., On Semiconductor Philippines, Inc., Alorica Teleservices, Inc., Cypress Manufacturing, LTD., Moog Controls Corporation, Google Services Philippines, Inc., Maxim Philippines Operating Corporation, Analog Devices General Trias, Inc., TI (Philippines), Inc., Eaton Industries (Philippines), LLC, Philippine Branch, and Wells Fargo International Solutions LLC-Philippines, amongst many others.”
PEZA Director General Charito B. Plaza discussed PEZA’s performance, programs, and data on America’s investments registered under PEZA as of 2022.
As the Philippines shows good signs of recovery with expected GDP growth of 5.1% this 2022 and with the increasing vaccination rate, Ambassador Romualdez said, “These have allowed for the gradual reopening of the economy in the third and fourth quarters of 2021. Economic activities have been up and running.”
Meanwhile, Charge D’Affaires of the United States of America to the Philippines Honorable Heather Variava shared that the United States government has facilitated the donation of over 65 million vaccines through the COVAX facility, including almost 25 million vaccines in direct U.S. donations.
Variava said, “The rapid spread of Omicron variant has reinforced the importance of vaccines. In total, the Philippines has received over a hundred million doses of US-branded vaccines.”
For long-term investment planning, Variava suggests that “investments in health and manufacturing sectors are areas where American firms and investors may have expertise to offer. We know the Philippines is looking for additional investment across the board, especially in 5G, internet, clean energy, health, and health security areas.”
Charge D’Affaires of the United States of America to the Philippines Honorable Heather Variava discussed that investments in health and manufacturing sectors are areas where American firms and investors may have expertise to offer in the Philippines.
Further, US-Philippine Society Executive Director Mr. Hank Hendrickson has assured PEZA and its partner investors that the Philippines and the US governments will remain active on trade investment promotion and facilitation.
Hendrickson said, “PEZA’s success and commitment to quality and transparency are making a positive impact on Philippine practices outside the ecozones that serve the growing domestic market and will need to meet ever-higher expectations as the Philippine middle-class and its purchasing power expand.”
Ambassador Romualdez also mentioned, “The Philippines is looking to improve its interconnectivity infrastructure to address the current demand and sustain the growth of our digital economy in the foreseeable future. We have amended our laws to attract more foreign investments in the country that will allow fair competition and better economic activity.”
PEZA-registered American investors
Present as well in the first Global Biz forum for 2022 were PEZA ecozone developers namely the Senior Vice President of the Science Park of the Philippines, Inc. Mr. Geronimo Salonga and Vice President for Production Support and Interfacing Services of Teradyne Philippines, Ltd., Mr. Jim Mahon.
According to Senior Vice President Mr. Geronimo Salonga, “Our locations are consistent with PEZA where we develop industrial estates outside Metro Manila to help decongest the city while providing employment opportunities to our fellowmen right in their own provinces.”
“We are also one with PEZA in protecting the environment. We put a lot of emphasis in conserving our natural resources and maintaining a sustainable economic zone.”
On the part of Teradyne Philippines, Ltd., Vice President Jim Mahon stated that, “Doing business with PEZA is always smooth. Director General Charito Plaza is always responsive to our concerns as locators in Cebu.”
Mahon also expressed, “PEZA is tirelessly working with SEIPI and the Joint Foreign Chambers and Philippines Business Groups (JFC-PBG) in advocating for the concerns of the business community with relevant government agencies particularly on the CREATE Law, water quality guidelines, and logistics concerns.”
With Cebu still recovering from the onslaughts of the Typhoon Odette last December 2021, the Teradyne Vice President also commended PEZA for its rapid response and support in delivering relief goods, operations, and connecting them to an alternative telco company.
Teradyne Philippines, Ltd., Vice President Jim Mahon shared his company’s commendations and testimonial in doing business with PEZA.