PH aims 2nd highest FDI in ASEAN by 2028

The Philippines aims to have the second highest foreign direct investments (FDI) in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) by the end of the Marcos administration, Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual said.

In a television interview Monday, Pascual said the current administration targets to exceed the country’s achievement in attracting foreign investments in the past.

“We are exerting all efforts to go beyond what we achieved in the past. Our dream target is to be the second highest foreign direct investment destination in ASEAN,” he said.

Based on the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s World Investment Report 2023, the country ranked 6th among Southeast Asian countries last year in terms of FDI inflows, with the amount reaching USD9.2 billion.

Aside from the highly developed economy of Singapore, which attracted the highest FDI at USD141 billion, top FDI destinations in the region last year were Indonesia, USD21.97 billion; Vietnam, USD17.9 billion; Malaysia, USD17.9 billion; and Thailand, USD10 billion.

Pascual said the agency currently has 130 investment prospects, 16 of which are ongoing projects amounting to USD1.2 billion.

All these projects are registered with the attached investment promotion agencies of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – the Board of Investments (BOI) and the Philippines Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).

Pascual told reporters at the sidelines of an event in Mandaluyong City Monday that nine of these projects have started the development of their projects in the domestic economy, while seven are already in the One-Stop Action Center for Strategic Investments (OSAC-SI) for their “green lane” certification to fast-track the processing of their permits and licenses.

On top of these projects, eight more are also appealing for green lane treatment, Pascual said.

The DTI chief admitted that the high cost of power is a major deterrent for foreign investments to enter the Philippines.

“That is something we are addressing,” Pascual said, noting that the government provides incentives to facilities that produce their own power supply, especially those using clean energy. (PNA)