THE BOARD of Investments (BoI) saw value of committed foreign direct investments (FDIs) grow nearly threefold last semester, fueling a 27% increase in total pledges — including from Filipinos — in that period, according to data released on Monday.
BoI — which was the third-biggest contributor of committed FDIs in the first quarter after the Philippine Economic Zone Authority and the Clark Development Corp. but was the top in terms of total pledges in the same period — saw FDI commitments increase by 165% to P14.5 billion last semester from P5.5 billion in 2016’s first six months, fueling a 27% hike in overall approved commitments to P239 billion from P188 billion.
By source, Indonesia topped FDI commitments with P6.4 billion, followed by Japan with P2.6 billion, China with P880 million, the United States with P582 million and Italy with P486 million.
Philippines’ investment registration performance
“The impressive investment registrations with the BoI is concrete proof of the continued confidence of both foreign and local investors in the country,” a statement quoted Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez as saying, citing as well the administration’s policies as attracting these investors.
“The Philippine economy will continue to grow and create investment opportunities in infrastructure, manufacturing and services,” Mr. Lopez added.
“With this growth, we intend to have more inclusive businesses and ensure that economic gains are spread throughout the country.
Trade Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo, BoI’s Managing Head, said the latest figures bring the agency closer to hitting its P680-billion target this year for total investment commitments, reflecting 10% growth from last year’s record-high P617 billion.
“We expect big-ticket projects to come in by the second half of the year. Foreign and domestic investors remain optimistic especially in view of the government’s Build, Build, Build and Manufacturing Resurgence Programs,“ Mr. Rodolfo said in the statement.
June alone had Citra Central Expressway Corp. as proponent of the biggest project worth P25.7 billion that will extend the Skyway by connecting Buendia Avenue and the Balintawak segment of North Luzon Expressway. Other major projects included the P1.1-billion theme park of Newscapes Haven Development, Inc. in Nabas, Aklan; Hydrocor Corp.’s P990-million renewable energy project in Ifugao; the P710-million hospital project of Allegiant Regional Care Hospitals, Inc. in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu and the P439-million mass housing project of PDB Properties, Inc. in Tanauan City, Batangas.
The renewable energy/power sector remained the top field of investments with P108.2 billion for the first semester, nearly three times the past year’s P40.3 billion. Also in the top five were transportation and storage that grew nearly fourfold to P37.4 billion from P9.4 billion, construction/public-private partnership projects with P32.9 billion, manufacturing with P19.8 billion and real estate with P15 billion.
Countryside investments made up 76% of total pledges at P180.7 billion last semester, with Central Luzon leading the country’s 17 regions with P77.6 billion, more than three times the year-ago P22.3 billion, followed by the Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon area with P58.7 billion and Metro Manila with 24% at P58.3 billion. The three regions contribute more than 60% of gross domestic product. Davao Region came next with P14.3 billion and Western Visayas with P4.9 billion. — J. C. Lim