Special Economic Zones


Source: Bureau of Investments

Government economic planners strive to make the Philippines attract much-needed capital from abroad. The Philippines and neighboring countries in Asia, like China and Thailand compete for foreign investment, particularly foreign direct investments (FDI). It is typical to hear of giant companies relocating from to one country or another. If one looks more closely, one will find intense competition and strategizing by governments to host these giant firms.

Special economic zones or ecozones are a type of autonomous territories within the country. They are established mainly to encourage investors to locate their firms, plants and facilities in the area and thereby generate jobs for Filipinos, create potentials for knowledge and skills transfer, and increase the country's overall Gross National Product. To make the zones attractive, a package of incentives is offered to investors through favorable tax and labor regulations.

According to the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA, 2002), there are at present 148 ecozones/sites in different parts of the country. The firms operating in these sites are classified into three:

Public Economic Zones 455 firms
Private Economic Zones 440 firms
Information Technology Parks and Buildings 29 firms

Goods produced in Philippine ecozones are mainly electronic parts and products, having a share of 64.3%  from 1995-2001. The rest are electrical machinery, transport/car parts, precision and optical instruments, rubber and plastic products, garments and textiles, IT services, chemical products and other manufactures.

Companies from various countries have established their facilities at these ecozones. You may view the complete list of firms at http://www.peza.gov.ph/ecozone_frmset.htm.

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