With 2021 nearing its conclusion, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) is still upbeat with reaching its $100-billion export revenue target for the year.
Peza Director General Charito Plaza told the BusinessMirror that her outlook is supported by the improving Covid-19 situation in other countries, which can boost the country’s exports.
“Yes, we’re positive in the increase of export sales [because] of the opening up of the world economies caused by the massive vaccinations and the new normal,” she said.
It has been addressing its company locators’ worries over the constraints in the delivery of raw materials and other goods as well, which is seen as a threat to export revenue growth, she told the BusinessMirror in an earlier interview.
Peza, Plaza said, has been working with the Bureau of Customs, Philippine Ports Authority and other agencies handling transportation of shipments to resolve the matter.
In January to August, the regulator registered $40.692-billion export income, which showed a 17.35-percent growth.
“Peza continues to contribute 65 percent of export income on commodities and goods, and export service income of 85 percent from IT-BPO [information technology and business process outsourcing] and tourism-oriented companies registered with Peza,” Plaza said earlier.
However, in terms of investment approvals, Peza downgraded its growth target to 5 percent this year from 7 percent previously. It sees better performance next year with 6-percent growth projection.
Plaza said Peza saw a slow down in investment approvals by mid-2021 due to the pandemic.
“Due to the strict lockdowns implemented last year, the approval of projects filed in early 2020 were delayed until mid to late last year. Business groups, entrepreneurs, and exporters were on a wait-and-see mode and had lower risk appetite in their investments during the pandemic,” she said previously.
“Hence, the impact of the pandemic was really felt this year,” she added.
In the first 10 months, Peza investments dropped by 13.66 percent to P62.722 billion from P72.644 billion in the same period last year.
These include 215 projects, with most or P28.754 billion of them coming from ecozone development. Investments from the manufacturing sector, meanwhile, reached P24.127 billion.
Recently, Peza announced that it would be able to issue two-year visa for foreign investors and workers in economic zones after inking a partnership with the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
Beginning December 1, Peza and BI will cut the processing period of visa approval from 1 month to 10 days. Both agencies will set up a one-stop shop that will expedite the processing, approval and issuance of the visas.