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Cebu enjoys considerable success in producing goods for both the local and export markets.

The largest markets are USA and Japan. Cebu's track record is impressive, with an export list topped by semiconductors, electronic watches, electrical equipment, cameras and furniture.

 

Total export sales exceeded $2.0 Billion in 1998, representing close to 7% of total Philippine exports. The exports are increasing with a average growth rate of more than 12% over the past five years.

Traditional manufacturing in the furniture and handicrafts sectors has been overtaken by advanced high technology industries. Most of these are export-oriented and foreign-owned. Special economic zones have been established to encourage foreign investments and exports. They provide incentives such as income tax holidays and duty-free importation of equipment, and put all the physical and administrative infrastructures necessary for business on site.

The Mactan Export Processing Zone I (MEPZ I) is the first and one of the most successful export zones in the Philippines. As of 1999, MEPZ has 104 companies in operation employing close to 40,000 workers. It has the highest net trade balance vis--vis the country's other export zones. The value of exports of MEPZ contributes almost two-thirds of Cebu's total exports. Some well-known foreign direct investors in MEPZ are Asahi Pentax, Fairchild Semiconductors, TMX Philippines, National Semiconductor, Maitland-Smith, NEC and United Technologies.

The Mactan model is replicated in other areas, with over 200 hectares undergoing construction and almost 500 hectares additional industrial land. Other industrial zones include the Mactan Export Processing Zone II, Cebu Light Industrial Park (CLIP), West Cebu Industrial Park, Mira Nila and Cebu Techno Park.


   
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