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PEZA broadening search for economic zone investments

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THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) said it is seeking “nontraditional” countries of origin for economic zone investments.

“Ang strategy kasi ng PEZA is how we can diversify ’yung basket of eggs natin (PEZA’s strategy is how we can diversify our basket of eggs). It cannot be reliant on one country alone so we’re reaching out to non-traditional sources,” PEZA Director General Tereso O. Panga told reporters last week.

He added that PEZA will also seek to ride the wave of Middle Eastern countries making clean energy investments.

“That’s why we’re looking into the Middle East (which is) veering away from fossil-based investments, so they want to diversify. And it cannot be just for the Middle East,” Mr. Panga said.

The Philippines had recently allowed full foreign ownership of renewable energy (RE) projects, as authorized by the Department of Energy’s Circular No. 2022-11-0034.

This had triggered an increase in RE investment. Foreign ownership of renewable projects was previously limited to 40%.

Mr. Panga said that the “China plus one” approach taken by investors seeking to diversify their manufacturing sites will be the main driver for the growth of PEZA investments in 2024.

He added that PEZA is in continued talks with China-based investors. “That’s one way we can mitigate the impact and the ones coming here are also industry leaders in their own right.”

Last week, PEZA said it is likely to take in P170 billion in investment for 2023, which would exceed its P154.77-billion target. — Adrian H. Halili

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