THE GOOD NEWS: DOLLAR EARNINGS FROM EXPORT ZONES RISE BY 24 PERCENT

MALACANANG,  January 17, 2004 (OPS) The Philippines’ dollar earnings from export zones went up by 23.39 percent to $25.086 billion in the first 11 months of 2003 compared with only $20.335 billion for the same period in 2002.

Philippine Export Zone Authority (PEZA) director general Lilia B. de Lima said that electronic companies located in different PEZA economic zones contributed to the bulk of export receipts from January to November last year.

De Lima said that the local electronics industry disputed earlier export figures for January to November 2003 indicating a drop in electronic exports.

Based on PEZA records, de Lima pointed out, it is evident that the electronic sector has started to make a rebound and that prospects for continued growth look brighter than ever.

The electronics industry is forecast to grow by at least 10 percent this year due to an expected rise in global demand.

The government said that the projected growth rate is significantly higher than the five percent posted last year when shipments stood at $25.47 billion.

Of the PEZA economic zones, four are public economic zones, which were able to export $6.380 billion worth of goods during the period. These are the Bataan Ecozone, the Baguio Ecozone, the Mactan Ecozone and the Cavite Ecozone.

Likewise, the value of information technology (IT) investments approved by the PEZA reached P2.69 billion during the period spanning January to August 2003, or nearly three times the P822 million posted in 2002.

The continued surge of IT investments is due mainly to the investment perks offered by the PEZA that include:

four to eight years of income tax holiday (ITH);
five percent tax rate discount after the lapse of ITH period;
tax and duty exemption on imported capital equipment;
exemption from wharfage dues;
and unrestricted employment of foreign nationals

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said that the Philippines, next to India, is a major source of IT services in Asia for the US and Europe.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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