Investment projects approved by the Board of Investments surged 20.4 percent in 2016 to P441.8 billion from P366.7 billion in 2015, boosted by foreign commitments.
Registered projects in 2016 marked the highest in three years, or since 2013 when the figure hit P466 billion. Last year’s 20.4-percent growth also exceeded BoI’s 7-percent growth target for 2016.
Trade Secretary and BoI chairman Ramon Lopez said the growth in investment pledges was driven by continued confidence of investors in the country’s sustained strong macroeconomic fundamentals, the government’s socio-economic agenda and recent state visits by President Rodrigo Duterte in China, Japan and Singapore.
“With the investment missions that we are doing, investors have gained greater awareness of the Philippines’ strong and growing economy,” Lopez said.
BoI registered 377 investment projects in 2016 which were expected to generate 67,615 new jobs once the projects became fully operational.
Data showed that local investors committed P352.5 billion or 80 percent of the total projects, while foreign nationals pledged P89.3 billion or the balance of 20 percent.
Foreign investment pledges jumped 50 percent last year from P59.5 billion in 2015. BoI said foreign investment level in the second half of 2016 was almost twice that of the first semester, indicating “the growing foreign investor interest and confidence” in the economy.
Topping the list of foreign country investors last year were Australia with investments worth P30.5 billion. Singapore came in second with investments amounting to P13.6 billion, followed by The Netherlands with P13.1 billion, Japan with P6.8 billion and South Korea with P6.4 billion.
BoI said in terms of geographic distribution, Calabarzon topped the list with P102.1 billion worth of projects. The National Capital Region came in second with investments worth P95.3 billion, followed by Central Luzon with P56.5 billion.
Significant investments also went to the Cordillera Administrative Region with P34.8 billion, up by 40,528 percent from only P85.6 million in 2015.
Major investment projects last year were power with P209.9 billion; real estate with P65.8 billion; construction, P62.3 billion; manufacturing, P49 billion; and transportation and storage, P23.4 billion.
Investments in construction and manufacturing increased 644.8 percent and 81.3 percent, respectively.
The real estate sector is expected to generate the most number of employment with 32,055, followed by the manufacturing sector which is expected to provide jobs and income to 17,067 Filipinos.
“The continued growth of the manufacturing industry is a clear indication of the results of our manufacturing resurgence program. The revival of the manufacturing sector is key to inclusive economic growth because it will generate much-needed decent employment and help the country tap regional production networks,” Lopez said.
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