Fil-Chinese entrepreneurs urged investments in ecozones

Anvil Business Club members engaged in the domestic market have already expressed interest in exploring business within the ecozones, including the development of ecozones in rural and new growth areas

Members of the Anvil Business Club, an organization of young Filipino-Chinese businessmen and professionals committed to promoting a healthy economy and a progressive society in the country were enticed by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority to invest in ecozones given their means to put up shops and provide jobs to Filipinos.

“With our partnership, we can help in the administration’s efforts to graduate to an upper-middle income economy and, more importantly, with the contributions of young entrepreneurs like yourselves, we can boost and shape the market and the future,” said PEZA officer-in-charge director general Tereso Panga.

“With the growth mindset of the PBBM administration, and where the Philippines is in a sweet spot to benefit from the prevailing crises, we remain committed to fulfilling our mandate to help keep the economy afloat and contribute to the country’s overall growth and development through our ecozone program,” he added.

With the implementation of the CREATE (Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises) Act, PEZA aims to take advantage of the law to also attract investors in the domestic market.

“Maybe it’s about time that the government, with the CREATE Act as the platform, stimulates domestic production and services by giving incentives to Filipino-owned enterprises,” said the PEZA interim chief.

Exploring business within ecozones

Some of the Anvil members engaged in the domestic market have already expressed interest in exploring business within the ecozones, including the development of ecozones in rural and new growth areas.

“Ultimately, domestic production contributes to the GDP. It cannot be just the exporters doing all the production. This is also a sign of the strength of an economy when we see domestic output increasing. If we aggregate all these domestic producers, they are far bigger than the export producers, except that they are not aware of their incentives.”

Since 1991, Anvil has sought to develop tomorrow’s leaders, movers, and shakers in the Philippine business society.

As a testament to PEZA’s investment promotion and facilitation efforts, Keppel Philippines Holdings Inc. president and director Stefan Tong and Anvil chairman Emeritus George Siy shared their experiences doing business with PEZA and inside the ecozones.

“In the late ‘90s and early 2000s, Keppel had already started being an ecozone developer and operator. What we found is that operating within the PEZA zones is very conducive to us focusing on the business and not worrying about a lot of other things. The one-stop shop and non-stop shop mentioned by DG Panga, I still remember DG’s old boss, DG (Lilia) De Lima, had always emphasized that” said Tong.

Going back to the Philippines

On the other hand, Siy stated the experience of the garments group of Luen Thai which ventured to other countries for their operations but found themselves going back to the Philippines.

He said, “They have come back [to the Philippines]. They are saying that it’s easier to deal with the people and the administration here. These are real testimonials to the success of (the PEZA) management.”

For his part, Anvil president Jayson Sze expressed, “We are confident that the current administration is actively searching for foreign investors which will help strengthen our economy. It is not a secret that the current administration is empowering DTI and PEZA as effective business enablers for foreign investors.”

As of 2022, there are a total of 160 registered Chinese companies in PEZA contributing P25.446 billion or 0.94 percent of total investments in PEZA.

These companies also generated $358.434 Million in exports and created 15,724 direct jobs.

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