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PEZA, United States Trade, Commercial Office Vow To Strengthen Investment Drive

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PEZA, United States Trade, Commercial Office Vow To Strengthen Investment Drive

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Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Director General Tereso Panga welcomed United States Trade and Commercial Section officials to the PEZA Office for a briefing on the current state of US investments in Philippine economic zones.

The US officials were led by Economic Counselor Phil Nervig together with Trade and Investment Economic Officer Tom Pohlman, Commercial Specialist Easter Villanueva, and Economic Specialist Alta Paraiso.

“We thank you for the interest that the US has shown in helping PEZA acquire more US investments in light of the renewed and strengthened ties that deepen trade and investment relations between our two allied nations!” Panga said as he led the briefing for the US officials on Feb. 22.

The US remains the second largest foreign investor in the PEZA-led economic zones accounting for 14.16 percent of the registered business enterprises (RBEs) which include long term hard investors like Texas Instruments, Collins Aerospace, Analog Devices, Concentrix, MOOG, Teradyne, JP Morgan Chase Bank, among others.

There are currently 355 US locator companies in the PEZA economic zones generating employment for 365,257 Filipinos.

With PEZA being home to the largest industry players in the semiconductor industry, the parties also discussed collaboration through the CHIPS and Science Act, a US-led policy initiative aimed at diversifying its semiconductor supply chain.

Panga said that with the incoming high-level US Presidential Trade and Investment Mission to be dispatched by President Joseph R. Biden this coming March 2024, PEZA is bullish in welcoming more US companies to increase their investment portfolio in the ecozones from the current PHP404.37 billion.

Exports derived from these US investments resulted in around USD9.53 billion for the Philippines.

The high-level US Presidential Trade Mission was a commitment of President Biden during the official visits of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to the US and was announced in Jan. 12, 2024. The trade mission will be led by no less than US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo from March 11 to 12 this year.

For his part, US Economic Counselor Phil Nervig said the meeting was of great interest and highly appreciated for the updated data on US investments that PEZA has shared.

He extended the invitation to the 6th Annual Indo-Pacific Business Forum to be jointly co-hosted by the United States and the Philippines. The forum intends to strengthen the position of the Philippines as a key hub for regional supply chains and high-quality investments.

Panga thanked the US officials for their continued trust and confidence, saying the PEZA has been consistently cited by the US State Department and most recently the US International Trade Administration, US Department of Commerce, for its regulatory transparency, no-red tape policy and one-stop shop services for investors in the US Official Investment Climate Statements.

Latest recorded trade of goods and services between the Philippines and the United States stands at USD36.1 billion with Philippine exports reaching USD23.3 billion in 2022. (PNA)