US investments in PH ecozones hit over P402 B

American investments in the Philippine economic zones now stand at P402.827 billion from a total of 363 companies, mostly engaged IT and business process management and in various manufacturing sectors, making the US the Philippines third largest investor by national registered with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).

In a presentation at the Philippine Business Forum during the CES 2023, a global stage for innovation held in Las Vegas on Friday, Jan. 6, PEZA highlighted the contributions of US investors in the Philippine economy. PEZA OIC Director General Tereso Panga was represented at the forum by PEZA Deputy Director General Aleem Siddiqui M. Guiapal. The Philippine delegation at the CES was led by Trade and Industry Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Innovation Group Rafaelita Aldaba.

In his presentation “Philippines: Your Gateway to Asia and the Pacific regions”, Guiapal reported that economic zones in the country are hosting a total of 363 American investors employing 367,049 Filipino workers. Exports of American locators also contribute $7.639 billion annually.

Investors engaged in call centers account for the bulk or 34.387 percent of total American locators in PEZA while the IT services account for 16.94 percent of total and tourism with 7.09 percent share.

Others are engaged in various manufacturing sectors, mostly in semiconductors, integrated circuits, tobacco, solar, power, 3D printers, and soap and cleaning products.

Of these firms, majority or 194 firms are concentrating in the National Capital Region, 74 in the Central Visayas areas and 66 others are in the CALABARZON region. Others are hosted in the Western Visayas, the Cordillera Administrative Region, Davao region, Northern Mindanao and Bicol.

Big-ticket American firms registered with PEZA include TI (Philippines) Inc., Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc.; JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A.; American Power Conversion; C and U Philippines, Inc; TTEC Customer Care Management Philippines Inc., ON Semiconductor Philippines Inc.; Alorica Teleservices Inc.; Infineon Technologies Manufacturing Ltd.; and, Moog Controls Corp.

The US-Philippines bilateral trade grew by 23.4 percent in 2021 to $23.3 billion, recovering from the 11.4 percent decline the previous year due to the lockdown that restricted mobility of people and hampered the shipment of goods in and out of the country.

In that year, the US was the Philippines fifth largest country supplier with 6.6 percent share of the country’s imports. The US was also the largest export market of the Philippines, with 15.9 percent of total exports value in 2021 followed by China, a very close second accounting for 15.5 percent share of total.