CHINESE electronic firms have expressed interest in locating in Philippine economic zones, the country’s top development planner said following their investment road show in China two weeks ago.

“There are expressions of interest in setting up special economic zones, I think they’re looking at Central Luzon, in the Clark area,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia told reporters on the sidelines of the 43rd Philippines Business Conference and Expo yesterday.

He said these interested firms are mainly from the electronics industry.

“Either private companies or state-owned enterprises. A couple of them… mainly electronics and high-end technological projects,” said Mr. Pernia.

He said investment promotion agency Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) will be the one following up the said potential investments.

Should the plan push through, Mr. Pernia said they can locate in existing special economic zones, or the government may even new establish industrial parks.

“It will be the government with the Chinese committing bringing in locators there, to make sure that it is worth the cost of the infrastructure for that industrial park,” he said.

However, the plan, is “still at the talking level.”

Economic zones are selected areas with highly developed or which have the potential to be developed into agro-industrial, industrial tourist/recreational, commercial, banking, investment and financial centers, and are granted preferential tax treatment and immigration laws are more lenient.

It may contain industrial estates, export processing zones, free trade zones, and tourist or recreational centers. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan