WV GETS P8 BILLION: PHL sees 14% rise in investment approvals

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

The Philippines continues to gain traction in attracting investments, with the Department of Trade and Industry’s Board of Investments (BOI) reporting PHP 640.22 billion in approved investments from January to May 2024.

The figure represents a 14% increase from the PHP 562.90 billion recorded during the same period last year, marking the highest first five-month approval in the BOI’s 57-year history.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) credited the upward trend to various factors, including investment leads generated from President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s visits since 2022.

These visits, coupled with the efforts of the BOI and other investment promotion agencies (IPAs), have been crucial in converting potential investment interests into actual projects and foreign direct investments (FDIs).

Significant investments were recorded in 2023 from countries such as Germany (PHP 393.3 billion), the Netherlands (PHP 333.6 billion), Singapore (PHP 21.5 billion), Japan (PHP 2.6 billion), and the United Kingdom (PHP 1.3 billion).

Key sectors attracting these investments include renewable energy, information and communication, construction, real estate, and transportation and storage.

The continuous increase in investment approvals aligns with a surge in FDIs for the first quarter of 2024.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported a 42.07% year-on-year increase in net inflows, reaching USD 2.97 billion from January to March 2024, up from USD 2.09 billion in the same quarter of 2023.

The major sources of these investments were the Netherlands, Japan, Singapore, and the United States, consistent with the foreign investment approvals of 2023.

DTI Secretary and BOI Chairman Fred Pascual emphasized that the BSP statistics and the BOI’s approved investment data reflect sustained investor trust and confidence in the country and its workforce.

“We aspire to transform the Philippine economy and become the regional hub for smart and sustainable manufacturing and services. These data show that we are on the right track,” Pascual said in a statement.

He highlighted the pattern of commitments from various trade missions and the President’s business trips abroad, which have translated into tangible results through registration approvals.

From January to May 2024, foreign investments approved by the BOI amounted to PHP 114.37 billion, while domestic investments totaled PHP 525.85 billion. These projects are expected to create 13,871 jobs for Filipinos.

Switzerland led the foreign investments with PHP 62.89 billion, followed by the Netherlands (PHP 39.33 billion), Singapore (PHP 6.07 billion), China (PHP 1.53 billion), Taiwan (PHP 1.28 billion), and the USA (PHP 953 million).

In terms of domestic investment destinations, CALABARZON (Region IV-A) topped the list with PHP 538.52 billion, followed by the Ilocos Region (PHP 28.49 billion), Central Luzon (PHP 24.42 billion), the Bicol Region (PHP 13.28 billion), and Western Visayas (PHP 8.54 billion).

The Renewable Energy and Power sector continues to dominate the investment landscape with PHP 607.47 billion, marking a 20.73% increase from the previous year’s PHP 503.18 billion.

The Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing sector also showed robust growth, with approved investments reaching PHP 9.56 billion.

The Real Estate sector secured PHP 8.17 billion in approved investments, while the Transportation and Storage sector saw projects valued at PHP 4.61 billion.

The Manufacturing sector attracted PHP 4.36 billion in investments, and the Financial and Insurance Activities sector recorded the highest growth rate, surging by 236% from PHP 67.82 million last year to PHP 227.95 million this year.

“We are indeed Making it Happen in the Philippines,” Pascual said.

“The BOI, together with other IPAs, remains committed to generating more investments and maintaining the FDI growth momentum through ongoing economic reforms and proactive investment promotion. With a favorable business environment and strong investor confidence, the Philippines is well-positioned to further enhance its competitiveness and achieve sustainable economic development.”

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