BAGUIO CITY—Indian investors from different sectors are betting on the Philippines as a viable investment destination.
Ambassador Shambhu S. Kumaran was the guest of honor of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), as the latter promoted the country to a delegation from the India Business Forum Philippines Association Inc. (IBF) for an investment-promotions tour from November 26 to 30.
The group visited the City of Pines, as they believed its economic potential, climate and natural attractions will be an advantage for both foreign and local investors, being an option for future investments.
Aside from the tour, the government agency—through its Director General Charito Plaza—conducted the “Global Biz with PEZA” event which featured India on the third day: the 13th in a series of forums for this year.
Some Indian companies have already expressed their interest to locate and even expand their operations in the northern part of the country. Moreover, they are also expected to invest through PEZA and help in the transfer of technology, generation of jobs, as well as increase the economic activities of locals.
The event likewise encouraged companies to register in order to enjoy tax incentives being provided under Republic Act 7916, or the Special Economic Zones Act of 1995; and Republic Act 11534, or the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises—otherwise known as the CREATE Act.
“[As] a ‘one-stop and nonstop shop,’ PEZA will definitely assist our investors in their applications, and also in looking for local partners for their investment activities,” assured Plaza.
The government body also strengthened its collaborations with various groups to help bring investors to the country with the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the IBF, as it will partner with PEZA to promote the country’s economic potential to Indian investors.
THE tie-up is also in line with PEZA’s programs which seek to fully industrialize the Philippines and transform it into a self-reliant, self-sustaining, and resource-generating economy.
Plaza also looked forward to increasing the number of registered companies under PEZA with the partnership and the positive responses from the Indian delegates. She reported: “There are 29 Indian enterprises registered with PEZA to date. These companies contribute a total of P10.315 billion [worth of investments from] 1995 until September 2021. As of August 2021 these companies also employ 21,950 workers, and contribute $181 million [worth] of exports.”
She believes “PEZA, India, and Baguio City’s strong [linkage will be vital in our plans for the recovery of the Philippines, and in furthering our economic ties].”
For his part, IBF President Dileep Tiwari noted: “This partnership will pave the way for a new relationship between [us and PEZA. Some of our] members are already interested to open an office in PEZA…zones. Also, [colleagues who are non-information technology-business process outsourcing, like those…from the pharmaceutical background, are also considering making the same move].”
Senior IBF members at the event were Jaideep Pradhan (EXL Service), Pushkar Mishra (HGS), Shiju Verghese (TCS), Sanjay Vohra (Transrail Lighting), Animesh Jain (RM Chemicals), Venkatachalapathy Swaminathan (TVS Motor Comp.), Nitender Rao (Algorithm Solutions), Thumkesh Khera (Preventia Healthcare), Aparna Veera (Taskus), Rishi Pradhan (Conduent), Manan Mehta (Collabera), and Vikram Kochar (Shearwater), among others. First Secretary for Economics and Commerce Nishikant Singh from the Indian Embassy was overall coordinator.
Donations for Baguio
TO show their sincere appreciation for the province’s warm reception, the IBF donated motorcycles courtesy of Indian automobile firm TVS Motor Co. to Baguio City, Tuba, and the Baguio City Economic Zone.
During a flag-raising ceremony at the Baguio City Hall Grounds, the IBF likewise handed over medical supplies, and also pledged to donate P4-million worth of medicines against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) to the said local government unit (LGU). Mayor Benjamin Magalong acknowledged that they “will help us address [the new Omicron variant].”
Meanwhile, Tiwari is certain the donation will aid the LGU in its fight versus the pandemic. Kumaran, for his part, also hoped more Indian medicines, which have “high efficacy rates in curing Covid-19, will be available [in] the Philippines.”