The Board of Investments registered record investment pledges of P907.2 billion in 2018, up 47 percent from the previous all-time high of P616.8 billion in 2017.
“We hit another record-breaking investment in BoI’s 51-year history, beating the P617 billion in 2017 by a wide margin,” said Trade Secretary and BoI chairman Ramon Lopez over the weekend.
“Equally significant is the positive effect of these projects in addressing the problem of widening trade deficit. As the country continues to grow, demand for industrial products increases. Currently, for certain key categories, demands are mainly met through imports,” he added.
The agency said the best trade strategy was a robust industrial development policy. The BoI also approved projects critical to addressing social issues, including housing and the availability of health services.
The agency said special attention was also given to enhancing the productivity and competitiveness of agricultural commodities, through the granting of incentives to Triple A slaughterhouses and modern cold-chain facilities.
The investment surge was led by the manufacturing sector, where commitments rose more than four-fold to P409.3 billion from P96 billion in 2017.
Other strong performers include the transportation and storage where investments surged 626 percent to P129.6 billion from just P17.8 billion in 2017; water and sewerage sector with a 1,494 percent increase to P14.3 billion from P894.4 million a year ago; the retailing sector with P8.1 billion from P2.7 billion; and the accommodation sector with P39.9 billion from P11.3 billion.
“Given the epic surge in investments for 2018, it is but inevitable to aim for another historic milestone—the trillion mark next year. We are confident of hitting yet another growth in investment registrations next year with the impending entry of big-ticket projects as concrete fruits of the administration’s investment roadshows,” said Trade Undersecretary and BoI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo.
Rodolfo said the approved projects would boost the dispersal of capital to the regions, citing most projects were outside Metro Manila with total regional investments accounting for 86 percent of the total figure.
Region X (Northern Mindanao) led local investments with P228.8 billion, up over 3,000 percent from P7.2 billion a year ago, and accounting for a quarter of the total figure.
Second was Region IV (Calabarzon) with the P185 billion, while Region III (Central Luzon) placed third with P169.3 billion.
The National Capital Region took fourth spot with P123.6 billion, or 13.6 percent of the aggregate approved investments. Other performers include Region VII (Central Visayas) with P61 billion, Region XIII (Caraga) with P58.2 billion and Region XI (Davao Region ) with P18.8 billion.
Domestic investment pledges reached P803.2 billion, up 35 percent from last year’s P595 billion. Approved foreign investments also surged to P104 billion, a 3780-percent jump from just P21.7 billion in 2017.
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