PH’s success in free trade zones cited in world confab

Amidst growing number of free trade zones in various parts of the globe, the Philippines was recognized for its success in the establishment of investment centers before a gathering of international delegates in Colombia.

In his presentation titled, “Key Considerations in Setting Up Free Zone, Gokhan Akinci, Global Product Leader of World Bank Group, made special mention of the success of the Philippines in putting up special economic zones and freeports in the archipelago.

Gokhan who is currently working in Africa, was one of the speakers in the 3rd Annual International Conference and Exhibition (AICE) in Cartagena, Columbia. Themed “Next Generation Free Zones,” AICE was attended by about 1,000 delegates from 75 countries.

One of Akinci’s 55-slide presentation was devoted to the Philippine setting that also showed a photo of Clark and Subic.

Currently, Clark Freeport hosts 900 foreign and local locator-firms that have a combined employment of 100,000 workers and committed investments of US$ 1.044 billion.

It was first designated as a Special Economic Zone in 1992 before being classified as a Freeport through RA 9400 passed by Congress in 2007.

“The Philippines is successful in the area of having Special Economic Zones,” Akinci told delegates in AICE.

His presentation showed that there are 207 SEZs with 2,241companies that produce 85 percent of PH exports that provide gainful employment for at least 3 million workers throughout the archipelago.
AICE was officially opened by Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos who also attributed his peace efforts with the success of the economy thru the creation of Freeport zones.