Bangsamoro Chief Minister Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim Welcomes PEZA Partnership with BARMM

BEZA will conduct tomorrow, December 6, its 1st Multi-Stakeholders Forum for the Development of Polloc Freeport and Economic Zone (PFEZ)

Memento from Chief Minister Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim. (All photographs via SDN — SciTech and Digital News)

PEZA Deputy Director General Aleem Siddiqui Guiapal pays courtesy on Bangsamoro Chief Minister Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim bringing message of economic benefits from special economic zones, and possibility of collaboration between PEZA and BARMM in investment promotions, especially in the establishment of Halal Hubs in the region.

By EDD K. USMAN | Twitter: @edd1819 Instagram: @bluestar0910 Facebook: SDN — SciTech and Digital News 

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Main Building of the Bangsamoro Government Center (BGC), Cotabato City. (Credit: SDN — SciTech and Digital News)

BANGSAMORO GOVERNMENT CENTER, Cotabato City (SDN) — Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod Balawag “Al-Hajj Murad” Ebrahim today, December 5, 2022, met with a high-ranking official of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).

Ebrahim also liked that PEZA, through its Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Deputy Director General Aleem Siddiqui Guiapal is helping the Bangsamoro government on how to benefit from special economic zones (ecozones), which are known to be effective in catalyzing economic activities, generating jobs, and attracting foreign investments.

Bangsamoro Chief Minister Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim, PEZA OIC-Deputy Director General Aleem Siddiqui Guiapal, and BEZA OIC-Executive Director and MTIT Minister Atty. Sukarno A. Abas.

Guiapal is here in the city to speak at the 1st Multi-Stakeholders Forum for the Development of the Polloc Freeport and Economic Zone (PFEZ) at Al-Nor Mall Convention Center organized by the Bangsamoro Economic Zone Authority (BEZA) headed OIC-Executive Director Atty. Sukarno A. Abas. The PEZA official’s talk revolves around “Advantages in Investing in an Ecozone”. He has been the focus person in engaging with the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

MTIT Minister and BEZA OIC-Executive Director Atty. Sukarno A. Abas gestures as he relays to BARMM Chief Minister Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim developments about the PFEZ as well as the challenges in establishing more special economic zones in the Bangsamoro region.

Abas, deputy minister at the Ministry of Trade, Investment and Tourism (MTIT), who accompanied Guiapal in the meeting with the Chief Minister explained to Ebrahim a number of challenges BEZA is facing in establishing more ecozones in the Bangsamoro region.

So far, the Bangsamoro region only has a single ecozone, the Polloc Freeport and Economic Zone (PFEZ) located at Barangay Polloc, Parang, Maguindanao del Norte. The PFEZ has its own Polloc Port.

Under the wings of the MTIT, BEZA is exactly seeking to establish more ecozones in the region, which is composed of six provinces, three cities, a Special Geographic Area (SGA) in North Cotabato that joined the BARMM.

Guiapal, among others, cited the economic benefits that PEZA accomplished from January to September 2022, such as investments of Php39.631 billion; projects totaling 148; direct employment of around 1.8 million jobs; and exports worth Php43.166 billion.

He pointed out that PEZA ecozone exports for the period January to June 2022 increased at 7.7 percent compared to the same period in 2021. Philippine exports achieved 10 percent higher.

In relation with this, the data pertaining to “employment is 6.53 higher than the direct employment compared to the August 2021 period.”

The PEZA official also brought the message that President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. (PBBM) has been espousing concerning enhancing countryside development.

“We support the call of PBBM on countryside development through ecozone development. We’ve seen this strategy in China, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Korea, and Michigan in the United States.

A keepsake.

“In Sto. Rosario, Cavite, our remittance reached Php100. With our collaborations we want to bring these best practices in BARMM and vice versa. High potential in BARMM are agro-industry, food processing manufacturing, and establishment of the Halal Hubs,” Guiapal emphasizes.

Ebrahim, chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) welcomed the initiative pertaining to the partnership between PEZA and BARMM through BEZA.

“The Chief Minister welcomed this initiative, including joint efforts in investment promotion while PEZA prepares for 13 economic missions in 2023. Recently, PEZA approved 148 projects as of September 2022, generating Php39.832 billion and US$43.166 billion in exports.

Meanwhile, Abas commended Guiapal as a symbol of the Bangsamoro people who is making good in the national stage and one that has not forgotten his roots. (/)

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