Despite concerns about the government’s comprehensive tax reform program, which is expected to discourage foreign investors, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) is pushing through with its rebranding plan. According to PEZA director Charito Plaza, the “new PEZA” will help set up economic zones for food production, mineral processing, entertainment, and tourism. Currently, PEZA manages over 379 economic zones, most of them occupied by business process outsourcing (BPO) firms operating in IT buildings. Plaza added that the new economic zones will be designed as townships or smart cities, with housing facilities, banks, and commercial establishments. The rebranding campaign will be launched on April 30. Investments in economic zones dropped to PHP17.5bn (USD336m) as of February, compared with last year’s figures. BPO investments, however, rose to PHP3bn during the said period, from PHP1.9bn in 2018.
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