Investment pledges approved by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) for the entire 2020 reached only P95.03 billion, 19.12 percent lower than the P117.5 billion in 2019 as Filipino investments declined, constrained by the pandemic and prolonged lockdowns.
PEZA Director General Charito B. Plaza reported that while Filipino investments declined, foreign investments were robust at 21.26 percent increase to P59.73 billion from P49.26 billion in 2019.
Majority of the foreign investments came from various nationalities including that of America, European countries like United Kingdom, Belgium, Ireland, and Spain, and Asian countries such as China, South Korea, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan.
Contribution from Filipino businessmen, however, declined to P35.30 billion in 2020 from P68.29 billion the previous year, which PEZA attributed to various causes including the perilous effect of the COVID-19 imposed lockdowns beginning March 2020.
The investments represent the combined project cost of 326 locators that PEZA registered from January to December last year as against 540 in 2019. In December alone, PEZA approved a total of 26 projects with investment commitment of P6.69 billion.
PEZA reported that the manufacturing sector accounted for the bulk having attracted 217 locators with committed investments of P34.44 billion, an encouraging 13.43 percent increase from P30.35 billion in 2019. A total of 109 came from the IT-business process management sector with investments of P17.41 billion slightly lower by 0.93 percent than the P17.58 billion registered in 2019.
In terms of locations, Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Regions 1, 3, 5, 6, 11 and 12 were the top destinations of these investments. A total of 146 projects will be located in Region IV, 74 in the National Capital Region (NCR), 39 in Region VII, 34 in Region III, and 33 in other regions.
“Despite the pandemic that began in 2020 and affected global economy and trade, PEZA remains to perform at its best with the help of its registered business enterprises,” said Plaza.
She expressed optimism for a vibrant 2021 and PEZA would be able to attract more foreign direct investments in the country.
“As we continue to cope with the new normal, we remain committed and steadfast to attract investments, generate exports, and create employment for our country and the Filipino people,” noted Plaza.