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Peza to boost agro-industrial sector

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) is seeking to attract more investments in the country’s agro-industrial sector, which is seen as a strong contributor to the administration’s inclusive-growth thrust due to the employment opportunities it generates in the countryside.

The Peza has already registered some P21.516 billion in investments from agro-industrial enterprises from 2007 to April 2014.

Total employment generated by agro-industrial economic zones, meanwhile, stands at 45.648.

“We will push for agro-industrial investments and attract more manufacturers of processed food for export,” Peza Director General Lilia de Lima said.

De Lima, in an interview with reporters, said Peza started registering agro-industrial enterprises in 2007. This is meant to give fiscal and non-fiscal support to companies that will engage in agro-industrial projects such as income-tax holiday and duty-free importation of capital equipment. Aside from the P21.516 billion that were infused by agro-industrial firms, the Peza also registered some P5.887 billion in investments from developers of agro-industrial economic zones.

Theo O. Panga, Peza deputy director general, said there are currently 18 operating agro-industrial economic zones today, and most were developed by a single entity that is also the lone locator in the zone.

Most of the enterprises listed by the Peza are export-oriented. The largest investment among companies on the list is the P6-billion project of Green Future Innovations Inc. It also employs 508 people.

Another substantial investment in the sector is the expansion project of Dole Philippines Inc., which operates in three different economic zones. Its total investments reached P2 billion as of April. It employs about 16,000 workers.

The newest agro-industrial enterprise registered by the Peza on April 23 was Primex Coco Products Inc., which is 100-percent Filipino-owned. The firm is engaged in the manufacture of desiccated coconut and coconut milk powder, and is in the Candelaria Agri Special Economic Zone. The company is projecting to employ 476 people.  Peza said agro-industrial zones help increase the income of farmers resulting from the activities of the Peza-registered agro-industrial export enterprises.






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