The Philippines to Set Up New Pharma-Medical Device Ecozones in 2024

With tensions between the US and China still very high, many Western medical companies are looking for alternative places to make their products. Medical companies have looked more aggressively to Vietnam and India as new manufacturing hubs over the last few years. Not to be left out, the Philippines wants a piece of this action too. Filipino officials from their FDA, the Office of the President (Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.), and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), plan to set up four Pharma-Medical Device zones in 2024. These zones will act as specialized hubs for both foreign and domestic medical manufacturers. Since the Philippine FDA will be a partner to this venture, medical products made in these zones will need to meet high regulatory and quality standards.

These initial 4 zones will include all the equipment and facilities needed for medical production. These zones will receive 4-7 years of Income Tax Holidays. Following this time period, they will also receive a special corporate tax rate and increased deductions. With respect to importation of raw materials, they will be subject to duty free imports, and zero-value added taxes. To date, several Japanese device manufacturers have already shown interest to register and operate in these PEZA zones. This is an urgent initiative in the Philippines. However, as we all know, things move slowly there.

Written by: Ames Gross – President and Founder, Pacific Bridge Medical (PBM)
Mr. Gross founded PBM in 1988 and has helped hundreds of medical companies with regulatory and business development issues in Asia. He is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in the Asian medical markets. Mr. Gross has a BA degree, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Columbia University.

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