New 20-Year Treasury Bonds Draw Strong Market InterestPEZA and US Trade Officials Commit to Enhancing Investment in Philippine Economic Zones

Manila, Philippines - The Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) announced that the newly issued 20-year Treasury bonds (T-bonds) were met with robust demand, receiving bids that were three times the amount offered.

According to Philippines News Agency, the PHP30-billion issuance of T-bonds was fully awarded during the auction held on Tuesday, with total bids reaching PHP91.4 billion, significantly exceeding the initial offer.

The Auction Committee ultimately rejected tenders amounting to PHP61.423 billion, underscoring the high level of interest from investors. The BTr has set the coupon rate for these long-term securities at 6.25 percent, a figure that falls below the prevailing rates in the secondary market. The yields on the offered T-bonds varied, ranging from as low as 6 percent to a high of 6.328 percent, indicating a favorable response from the market towards this investment opportunity.

MANILA — In a significant move to boost economic ties and investment flows between the Philippines and the United States, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and the United States Trade and Commercial Section have pledged to fortify their efforts to attract more US investments to Philippine economic zones. This commitment was highlighted during a meeting at the PEZA office, where PEZA Director General Tereso Panga hosted a delegation of US officials for a comprehensive briefing on the status of US investments in the zones.

According to Philippines News Agency, the delegation was headed by Economic Counselor Phil Nervig and included Trade and Investment Economic Officer Tom Pohlman, Commercial Specialist Easter Villanueva, and Economic Specialist Alta Paraiso. The meeting, held on February 22, served as a platform for discussing the substantial role of US investments in the Philippine economic landscape, especially in the semiconductor industry. The US is the second-largest foreign investor in PEZA-administered zones, with a 14.16 percent share in registered business enterprises.

The discussion also touched upon the potential collaboration under the CHIPS and Science Act, a strategic US policy aimed at diversifying its semiconductor supply chain, signaling a keen interest in strengthening trade and investment relations between the two nations. Director General Panga expressed optimism about attracting more US companies to invest in the ecozones, especially with the anticipated high-level US Presidential Trade and Investment Mission initiated by President Joseph R. Biden, scheduled for March 2024.

The presence of 355 US locator companies in PEZA zones, employing over 365,000 Filipinos, underscores the significant impact of US investments, which have contributed approximately USD9.53 billion in exports for the Philippines. The upcoming trade mission, announced during President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.'s visit to the US and led by US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, is expected to further enhance these figures.

US Economic Counselor Phil Nervig expressed appreciation for the updated investment data provided by PEZA and extended an invitation to the 6th Annual Indo-Pacific Business Forum, a collaborative effort between the United States and the Philippines aimed at reinforcing the Philippines' role as a crucial hub for regional supply chains and high-quality investments.

PEZA's efforts have been acknowledged by the US State Department and the US International Trade Administration, US Department of Commerce, for its regulatory transparency, efficient no-red tape policy, and comprehensive services for investors, reflecting the strong trust and confidence between the two countries. The bilateral trade of goods and services totaled USD36.1 billion in 2022, with Philippine exports to the United States reaching USD23.3 billion, marking a significant contribution to the economic partnership between the Philippines and the United States.