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BOI-approved investment pledges rose 11.6% to P729b this year

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The Board of Investments approved P729 billion worth of projects this year, up 11.6 percent from P655 billion in 2021, the Department of Trade and Industry said Wednesday.

“The 2022 BOI approval levels clearly indicate that despite the lingering effects of the pandemic especially in the first half of the year, coupled with global decline in investments due to the Russia-Ukraine War, investors continue to have strong confidence in the Philippine economy,” said Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual.

The BOI is conducting final validation on some projects, but the final figure will not be far from what was announced, according to Trade Undersecretary and BOI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo.

Employment from approved projects also grew from around 47,000 incremental workers in 2021 to 260,000 in 2022 for a 45-percent increase.

Rodolfo said BOI-registered projects are mostly strategic projects that are capital-intensive, but not necessarily labor intensive. He said these projects would have an impact on improved competitiveness, economic activity and employment.

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He said among the big drivers for 2022 investments were power, particularly renewable energy which accounted for 50 percent of approved investments; information and communication projects such as data centers and telco towers, 28 percent; mass housing; transportation and storage including logistics and cold chain facilities.

“Equally important, we have to highlight the composition of the approved projects—these are very strategic and are fully aligned with the direction that DTI Secretary and BOI chair Fred Pascual had set that our Industrialization should be based on innovation on sustainability, on digitalization, and on connectivity,” Rodolfo said.

“Thus, you can see the clustering of projects in the area of renewable energy, in data centers, in telco towers, and in electric vehicles. Moving forward, as directed by the chair and secretary, we are targeting P1 trillion investments for 2023,” he said.

Rodolfo said projects related to electric vehicles like charging stations, lease of electric vehicles and the operation of electric vehicle transportation network vehicle service contributed P52.3 billion.

Singapore topped the list of major sources with 57 percent; Japan, 22 percent; the UK, 7 percent; the US, 3 percent; Virgin Islands, 2 percent; and South Korea, 2 percent.

The DTI said it has a healthy pipeline of strong leads for 2023, including those generated and further confirmed through investment missions and presidential visits.

“In the area of renewable energy, these missions and presidential visits have generated strong, tangible interest particularly in the area of off-shore wind power generation projects. Investors welcomed the strong political will of the administration to push for RE, especially with the recent amendment by the DOE of the Renewable Energy Act IRR to now allow for 100-percent foreign equity ownership of solar, wind and tidal power projects,” Pascual said.

He said investments in renewable energy are of critical strategic importance for the Philippines in positioning as the regional hub for innovation and sustainability.

“We provide the solution for companies who are actively looking for suitable location that will help them achieve their net-zero carbon commitments. In addition, we also have investment leads that are looking to take advantage of our full-implementation of game-changing reform legislations in the area of public utilities, retail trade, and tech start-ups,” he said.

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