The Philippine Economic Zone Authority expressed hope that it will attract more investments in the coming months, despite a 27-percent drop in the value of newly-approved projects in the first seven months to P52 billion from P71.21 billion a year ago.
“It is true that the COVID-19 pandemic affected our economy badly. It’s now been reported that we’re in a recession, with the country’s GDP shrinking 16.5 percent in the second quarter,” said PEZA Director-General Charito Plaza.
She said the information technology-business process outsourcing and manufacturing industries continued to have robust contribution to new investments.
Investments in manufacturing increased 24 percent in the first seven months to P23.34 billion from P18.77 billion a year earlier. The IT-BPM sector registered investments of P11.40 billion, up by 37 percent from P8.32 billion a year earlier.
Approved investments in the seven-month period came from 164 new and expansion projects.
Foreign direct investments amounted to P28.75 billion, down by 26 percent from P36.26 billion a year earlier while local investments fell by 63 percent to P15.75 billion from P42.46 billion.
Actual exports in the first semester decreased by 7 percent to $24.81 billion while employment registered a decline of 3 percent to 1,476,076 million workers.
Plaza expressed hope that the agency and the economy as a whole would bounce back from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We at PEZA remain hopeful to bounce back from this. We have to treat this crisis as both a lesson and an opportunity,” she said.
“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,” she said.