ECOZONE  INVESTMENTS  SURGE  BY A STRONG 131% TO P28.43 BILLION

MANILA, August 12 , 2004 (STAR) By Marianne V. Go - Total investments in the countryís economic zone surged by a strong 131 percent to P28.43 billion in the first seven months of the year from only P12.30 billion in the same period last year, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) reported yesterday.

In July alone, new economic zone investments that PEZA approved amounted to P1.186 billion.

PEZA did not provide a month-on-month comparison although it said economic zone investments in July are expected to generate annual average export sales of $114.37 billion and direct employment of 2,248.

Of the total investment inflows for the seven-month period, the information technology sector accounted for P4.294 billion or an increase of nearly 100 percent over last yearís IT sector investment of P2.152 billion.

The increase in the approved investments was attributed to regained confidence in the Philippine economy especially after the May 10 presidential election.

Investors prefer to locate within special economic zones as this entitles them to fiscal perks that include income tax holiday and duty-free importation of capital equipment and raw materials.

Meanwhile, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) also reported yesterday that exports from the Subic Bay Freeport increased 19 percent to $454 million from January to July this year compared to exports of $383 million in the same period last year.

Taiwanese computer maker Wistron InfoComm Phils. Remains the Subic Bay Freeportís top exporter.

Wistronís exports from January to July this year amounted to $319.7 million, accounting for almost 70 percent of the Subic Bay Freeportís total exports for the period in review.

Other top exporters of the Subic Bay Freeport are Sanyo Denki with exports amounting to $28 million and Omron with exports amounting to $22 million.

Sanyo Denki manufactures and exports micro-motor parts, while Omron manufactures and exports automated teller machines (ATMs)


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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