Zone FDIs up 21%

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    Investments in manufacturing and information technology-business process management (IT-BPM) in the economic zones remained resilient in the first seven months of the year.

    Foreign direct investments (FDIs) continued to drive ecozones, accounting for 70 percent of total and still posting growth in January to July despite the pandemic.

    Data from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) showed investments in manufacturing increased by 24 percent investments increased by 24 percent to P23.34 billion compared with only P18.77 billion last year.

    Investments in the IT-BPM sector rose 37 percent to P11.4 billion from last year’s P8.32 billion.

    But total ecozone investments for the seven-month period were still 27 percent lower at P52.01 billion from P71.21 billion in 2019.

    From this amount, FDIs amounted to P36.26 billion, up 26 percent from P28.75 billion from the same period in 2019. Local investments meanwhile fell 63 percent to P15.75 billion from P42.46 billion the previous year.

    These investments came from 164 new and expansion projects.

    Exports from locators in ecozones in the first half meanwhile declined 7 percent to $24.81 billion while employment fell 3 percent to 1.5 million.

    Charito Plaza, PEZA director-general, remains positive the agency and the country as a whole will be able to bounce back from the effects of the new corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

    “We have to treat this crisis as both a lesson and an opportunity. Even with the difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, PEZA continues to attract investors to the country and promote the creation of special economic zones especially in to the countryside that will become economic drivers in every region,” Plaza said.