Australian state bullish on investing in Phl

A delegation from Australia has aired its intentions to invest in the Philippines, citing its confidence in the thrust of the Philippine government to build an encouraging environment for companies to invest in the country.

In an interview, Zoe Bettison, Minister of Tourism of the Government of South Australia, said their government is interested in investing in hydrogen and producing winemakers in the Philippines.

“The primary thing that draws Australian companies here is your incredibly well-educated population and a very young population that speaks English. That’s what companies have been attracted to,” said Bettison on the sidelines of the ongoing Pacific Business Mission to the Philippines being held by the Department of Trade and Industry and its attached agencies Board of Investments and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority. The event,  which runs 16 August to 20 August,  is being attended by more than 50 delegates from Australia and New Zealand.

Bettison said the Philippine and Australian governments should continue to build the relationship between the two countries that has run for 75 years now. “This is a perfect opportunity to increase that friendship, through knowledge that can happen with people coming for educational opportunities, tourism, and investments and business. We are welcome to be part of it.”

Currently, Australia is PEZA’s number 13 top ecozone investor.

In a separate interview, PEZA OIC-director general Tereso Panga said that as of June 2022, a total of 138 Australian enterprises are registered with PEZA. These companies are engaged in shipbuilding, business process outsourcing, call center services, software development, engineering, architectural and other design services.

Among the other target sectors that PEZA is looking to attract from Australia are manufacturing and IT, data centers, telecommunications, agriculture and mineral processing, according to Panga.

“Australian companies here in the country have contributed P14.632 billion of investments, generated $351.944 million of exports and created 43,033 direct jobs. On the part of New Zealand, there are three New Zealand companies in PEZA that are engaged in the manufacturing of rubber and plastic products, business process outsourcing, engineering, architecture and other design services, and they have contributed P85.946 million in investments, generated $22.626 million of exports and created 1,953 direct jobs,” said Panga.

The PEZA chief expressed confidence that the Pacific Business Mission will draw more investments from Australia and New Zealand.

“We expect more investment delegations because we are opening up the economy. We are prepared for the upturn of the economy as we host more investment missions as well as investors coming into the Philippines to check on the potentials and opportunities in the country,” Panga told the Daily Tribune.

Aside from Australia and New Zealand, PEZA is also targeting Japan, China and other members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership as well as Middle Eastern countries and the European Union.

At present, the Philippines is not yet an official member of the RCEP because the Senate has yet to ratify one of the world’s largest trade bloc agreements.



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