The Philippine Economic Zone Authority launched its first-ever Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Institute in Batac City, Laoag, Ilocos Norte, in partnership with the Mariano Marcos State University.
PEZA and MMSU signed on January 23, 2020 a memorandum of agreement following the soft inauguration of the university’s new National Bioenergy Research and Innovation Center (NBERIC) Building.
The infrastructure will house the SEZ Institute office as well as bureaus of the Trade Department’s Negosyo Center and shared service facilities.
“The SEZ Institute aims to provide skills training, research, etc. based on the industry identified in the region and be partner with SUCs with competence to transform every Filipino worker into multi-skilled, world-class, and rich human capital, addressing one of the efficiency factors investor are looking for,” said PEZA director-general Charito Plaza.
She added “the agreement is the first step to involve SUCs in attracting investors to the Philippines and addressing some of the efficiency factors investors are looking for.”
Plaza also invited the LGUs to make use of their idle lands and create economic zones in their area, bringing economic development to the countryside.
PEZA encouraged the state university to apply as a Knowledge, Innovation, Science, and Technology (KIST) park, which will allow it to team up with foreign universities and offer similar programs.
Once certified, the university will be attractive not only to Filipinos but also to foreigners, Plaza said.
“I encourage all institutions to become involved in the creation of ecozones in the country, which will become economic drivers to grow smart towns, digital cities, and eventually create new metropolitan areas in every region,” said Plaza.
The SEZ Institute is one of the 10-point programs and special projects to be successively implemented as PEZA celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
The programs and projects aim to fully industrialize and enhance the efficiency factors and competitiveness of the Philippines as an investment haven in Asia.