Agency eyeing to set up island-based ecozones

THE PHILIPPINE Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) is looking at setting up themed island-based economic zones to attract more foreign investors into the country.

At the inauguration of the agency’s Davao Business and Investment Center here last week here, PEZA Director General Charito B. Plaza said that the plan is to name these island-based ecozones as capital of countries as her agency has been aggressively promoting the country to foreign investors.

“We hope to attract more foreign direct investments through this project,” said Ms. Plaza, adding that the plan is to look for investors that will set up the ecozones and help these investors find foreign capitalists.

However, even if the island is named after a capital of the country does not necessarily mean that the investments in that ecozone will be limited to investors from the country. “Everybody will be welcomed,” she said.

She added that this plan will take place as the agency continues to look for areas in the regions that will become its business center.

The program, she added, is to set up a business center for each region “so that it would be easier for businesses to set up their investments.”

She added that the business centers will be key areas of growth for their regions as the agency has also called on those with properties suitable for economic zones.

In the Davao Region, Ms. Plaza, the first military general, said that there are 14 accredited agro-industrial and five manufacturing zones. Nationwide, the agency has 365 economic zones and 3,916 locator companies whose businesses include exports, information technology, medical tourism, agro-industrial enterprises, logistics enterprises, utilities, industrial estates, tourism zones and others.

The center, located at the Damosa Land’s Market Basket compound, is a “promise” of the Floirendo-led company to help the region grow the industries, said Ms. Plaza.

She added that the new center “will be guiding investors, both potential and those that have set up their businesses,” she said.

In providing the space for the agency, Ricardo F. Lagdameo, Damosa Land vice president, said that the company has always envisioned to help the government provide services to the locators of its projects.

“When we built this (in 2009), the intention was to have PEZA and some other government agencies located here so that they can provide services to the locators,” said Mr. Lagdameo, adding that this has been the vision of his uncle, Ricardo R. Floirendo, senior vice president at Anflo Management and Investment Co. with Damosa Land part of the portfolio is he supervising.

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