The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) agency is targeting 7% investment growth target for this year as it anticipates more interest from foreign firms after the passage of the law cutting corporate income tax and reforming the tax incentives system, setting a 7% investment growth target for this year.

The investment promotion agency last year registered P95.03 billion in pledges, down 19.15% from 2019 after lockdown restrictions declared to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic dented investor confidence.

“We’re looking at an increment of about P6 billion, and we have a strong basis for this projection because of the increasing FDI (foreign direct investment),” PEZA Deputy Director General for Policy and Planning Tereso O. Panga said.

Implementing rules and regulations of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act released last week listed priority projects for government incentives, including projects that improve the country’s competitiveness as an investment destination and its ability to produce high-end products.

PEZA earlier this year said that it is aiming to approve over P100 billion in investment pledges for 2021.

So far, investment pledges approved by the agency increased by almost 54% to P25.382 billion in the first quarter after coming off a low base last year, when approved investments slumped after the board failed to meet during initial lockdown that began in mid-March 2020.

The bulk of approved investments for the first quarter this year will be in Luzon, and several of the projects are for export manufacturing and information technology