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Monday, May 20, 2024

Investment pledges with BoI surge 98%

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Investments pledges approved by the Board of Investments surged 98 percent in the first seven months to P210.37 billion from P106.08 billion a year ago, led by power and infrastructure projects.

“Investments coming in are in sectors that will elevate our competitiveness such as in power and infrastructure,” said Trade undersecretary and BoI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo. 

“Dispersion of investments in the region had also changed.  NCR [National Capital Region] usually receives the highest amount of investments, but now investments are dispersed as other regions take the lead in attracting more investments,” he said.  

Trade Secretary and BoI chairman Ramon Lopez said the agency expected approved investment pledges to further increase, on the back of sound economic fundamentals and sustained investor confidence.

“While confidence in the economy remains with investments continuing to pour in, the government is pursuing a number of strategic investment policy and promotion initiatives in a bid to further strengthen its efforts in attracting a massive flow of domestic and foreign investments in the country particularly those that would bring in new technology,” said Lopez.  

BoI approved 192 projects in the seven-month period, which are expected to generate 37,487 jobs once they are in full operation.

Among the biggest investments are those committed by Limay Premier Power Corp., GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp., Light Rail Manila Corp., Bayog Wind Power Corp. and Cordillera Hydro Electric Power Corp.  The last two renewable energy companies plan to build power plants with 150 megawatts and 60 MW, respectively.

Data showed compared to 2015, energy projects surged 325 percent this year, accounting for 51 percent of total approvals.

Other sectors with major investment approvals were construction, mass housing, manufacturing, transportation and storage sector.  

Major manufacturing sub-sectors include food products; motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers; fabricated metal products; leather and other related products; wearing apparel; and other manufacturing products.

Singapore topped the list of foreign investors in the first seven months with investments worth P9.83 billion, followed by the Netherlands with P7.12 billion, South Korea with P6.42 billion, Japan with P5.69 billion and British Virgin Islands with P2.02 billion.

Central Luzon generated the highest investments approvals in the period, amounting to P44.32 billion or 21 percent of the total.

Lopez said BoI was looking at modernizing the current investment incentives regime by proposing amendments to the 1987 Omnibus Investments Code.

“In granting incentives, we will focus on creating decent jobs in the Philippines. As such, bias against foreign investors and bias against those serving the domestic market will be removed.  Further, if the economic provisions of the  Constitution will be amended, greater foreign equity in sectors that are crucial to improving the competitiveness of industries such as infrastructure and utilities like telecommunications, roads, ports, and airports, may be allowed,” he said.

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