The literature is replete with case studies that illuminate how special economic zones (SEZs) have been instrumental in catalysing industrial development. It also holds great appeal in a country’s quest to crowd-in private sector investment through both domestic and foreign direct investment flows. SEZs have become an important policy tool of choice for governments seeking to accelerate industrialisation, development and growth.
The Philippines has at least 415 special economic zones. These are composed of manufacturing, IT Parks, tourism, agro-industrial and medical jurisdictions that enjoy the benefits and perks similar to other SEZs in other countries. Along with our other economic low-hanging fruits such as tourism, agriculture and export of services, these special zones are magnets of growth and development. They spur economic activities and boost our exports of goods and services. They generate immediate employment and allow our citizens to bring home much-needed support for their families.