Ecozone export sales up 43% in first four months

Published by rudy Date posted on June 2, 2010

FIRMS in economic zones continued to post growth in export sales and employment as of April, data released yesterday showed.

Sales growth, however, has been tempered from the first quarter. Employment, meanwhile, rose at a faster rate.

January to April export sales grew by 42.9% to $12.692 billion from year-ago levels according to Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) data, slightly slower than the 48.8% rise seen in the first three months.

Companies in private economic zones were responsible for the bulk of total export sales, accounting for roughly two-thirds. Their sales grew by 43.9% to $8.874 billion.

Those in public economic zones, meanwhile, enjoyed a 54.9% rise in sales to $2.683 billion. Business process outsourcing companies in information technology (IT) parks recorded a more modest 18.6% sales growth to $1.334 billion.

Employment in economic zones, meanwhile, rose at a faster clip compared to the first quarter. The number of workers grew by 18.2% to 671,745 in January to April, better than the 16.6% increase recorded as of March.

Companies in IT parks posted the fastest employment growth: 24.8% to 235,733 workers, more than a third of the total workforce in economic zones.

Employment in private economic zones likewise rose by 20.6% to 312,290 workers, while the figure in public economic zones grew by just 2.6% to 123,722 workers.

By yearend, the PEZA is hoping both employment and export levels will grow by at least 10% from 2009.

Investment pledges are also targeted to grow by 15% to P201.670 billion in 2010 after rising by 16% last year.

The PEZA has so far registered P37.655 billion worth of investment pledges as of April or nearly a fifth of the yearend target. — Jessica Anne D. Hermosa, Businessworld

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