Taiwan’s PEZA locators business as usual

Despite the live-fire drills of China around Taiwan, it’s business as usual for Taiwanese locators in the country’s industrial parks, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) said.

The drills effectively placed Taiwan under a blockade that disrupts trade and travel in the region by forcing merchant vessels to reroute away from Taiwan Strait, one of the world’s busiest waterways, adding more pressure to the already strained global supply chains.

“Tensions in Taiwan can possibly affect their operations here. But right now, we have not yet seen any overt effect, so it’s business as usual,” PEZA Officer in Charge-Director General Tereso Panga told the Daily Tribune.

Records from PEZA put the total investments of 109 Taiwanese locators in the Philippines at P32.874 billion plus the employment of 48,178 Filipinos.

Their export revenues reached $415.216 million from January to June 2022.

However, PEZA said the investors and the country expect negative effects if China-Taiwan tensions worsen.

“There might be some implications since both China and Taiwan have very good trade and investment relations with the Philippines. However, it is too early to conclude specifics at this point,” Promotions and Public Relations Group manager, Aleem Siddiqui Guiapal said.

A full-blown conflict between China and Taiwan, which dominates the global semiconductor industry, could worsen worldwide shortage in computer chips that are important components of all modern electronics.

Meanwhile, Panga is hopeful that investment promotions between the Philippines and the two feuding neighbors will push through this year.

“There are trade and investment promotion activities which are set this year including the Taiwan-PH inbound and outbound business missions happening this 26 August and sometime in October.
Meanwhile, we will also be attending CIFIT (China International Fair for Investment & Trade 2022) in China which will be from 8 to 11 September, and the CAEXPO (China-ASEAN Expo) from 16 to 19 September this year,” Panga said.

Contingency plan for OFW

Earlier, Senate Committee on Migrant Workers chairperson Senator Raffy Tulfo advised the President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. administration and other concerned agencies to formulate contingency plans for overseas Filipino workers should the tension between China and Taiwan escalates.

Tulfo said the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Philippine Overseas Labor Office, and the Department of Foreign Affairs should make a coordinated plan to safeguard Filipino workers in Taiwan and other neighboring countries.

“This is the perfect time for government agencies to show their united force by working together for the safety and security of our workers abroad,” Tulfo told reporters.

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