PEZA eyes local, foreign banks as key partners in ecozone development

Published March 2, 2021, 8:02 PM

by Alexandria Dennise San Juan

In a bid to enhance the country’s economic zones, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) has partnered with local and international banks for the purpose of establishing credit facilities.

This was learned during PEZA’s “Global Biz,” its first monthly forum for this year. It was part of the agency’s 26th anniversary celebration last Feb.24.

PEZA Director General Charito Plaza said the forum aims to achieve the agency’s worldview, “Thinking Global, Acting Local,” as outlined in its 10-point program, and to fully industrialize and enhance the efficiency and competitiveness of the Philippines as an “investment haven in Asia.”

“It is our goal that through this month’s Global Biz, local and international banks will be encouraged to put up credit facilities in our economic zones to address the efficiency factors like logistics, transportation hubs, public works, and infrastructures as well as to enhance the ease of doing business in the Philippines,” Plaza said.

Present during the first edition of the monthly forum were local and foreign banks such as Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Philippine National Bank (PNB), Japanese banks Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Mizuho Bank, and MUFG Bank, and Singaporean financial institution Passion Venture Capital.

The DBP and PNB expressed their support for PEZA’s initiatives to revive the country’s economy amid the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

In his speech during the forum, DBP Vice President Noli Cruz highlighted that the bank’s core support to PEZA’s locator companies will be on infrastructure development.

“This includes power, water, transport, logistics, housing, solid and hazardous wastes, and sanitations. DBP can also support the entire value chain of locator companies especially the small and medium enterprises and other areas needing development interventions,”

Cruz said. “DBP adheres to sustainable development thus, supporting projects that advance environmental protection believing that sustainable growth is purely hinged on total human development,” he added.

For the part of the PNB, Senior Vice President Jean Marie Baruelo said they intend to provide PEZA “comprehensive financial solutions spanning from your investments as you set up your operations in the Philippines all the way to your growth and development as we aim to partner with you as your financial partner of choice.”

Similar to the DBP, PNB also offers corporate or institutional loans, launching their sustainable finance network that aims to further support and promote such as renewable energy, clean transportation, energy efficiency, pollution prevention control, climate change adaptation, and terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity conservation.

Baruelo added that PNB can also assist in investment banking solutions, global trade services, cash management solutions, and electronic payment solutions.

The PNB executive likewise told foreign investors in the forum that the bank can assist them in queries on setting up operations in the country and finding partners for joint ventures for local expansion.