The country’s two leading incentive-giving bodies approved major investments in the first half that will generate jobs and lift exports in the coming months.
The Board of Investments said Tuesday it approved P698 billion worth of new investments from 155 projects from January to June, up by 203 percent from P230 billion it generated in the same period in 2022.
“The Philippines is poised to become Asia’s premier investment destination. The signs are emerging. Foreign investment pledges are at a record high,” said BOI chairman and Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual.
Foreign investment approvals accounted for 60 percent of the total approvals at P423 billion, an increase of 5,621 percent from P7.89 billion in the first half of 2022. Domestic investments increased 23.8 percent to P275 billion from P222 billion.
Germany was the top source of foreign direct investments with P393 billion; followed by Singapore with 16.8 billion; the Netherlands, P3.57 billion; France, P2.04 billion; and the US, P1.9 billion.
Western Visayas topped the list as the recipient of biggest investments with P306 billion, while CALABARZON placed second with P164 billion. Rounding up the top five regions are Ilocos with P55.5 billion, Central Luzon with P28.7 billion and the National Capital Region with P25.6 billion.
“The increasing number of investments approvals reflect the growing attractiveness of the Philippines as an investment destination and highlights the country’s potential for further economic growth and development. The successful and speedy implementation of investments means more stable and higher-paying jobs for Filipinos without unnecessary delays,” Pascual said.
The BOI continues to target investment projects that will strengthen the country’s position as a regional hub for sustainability, connectivity and innovation-driven manufacturing and services, as it continues to be on track of P1.5 trillion investments target in 2023.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority said its board pre-qualified eight big-ticket economic zone development projects with combined investments of P32.92 billion in the first half.
PEZA director-general Tereso Panga said new and expansion ecozones with minimum capital investment of P1 billion are subject to approval from the Fiscal Incentives Review Board and presidential proclamation.
“This uptick in ecozone development investment is crucial as it indicates a growing demand for proclaimed areas, which is further supported by the rise in new and expansion projects,” he said.
The eight projects are on top of the 19 ecozone projects that are still pending at the Office of the President or awaiting presidential proclamation.
PEZA said of the eight approved new and expansion ecozone projects, three are manufacturing ecozones, one is an IT Center and four are IT parks.
PEZA said the North Cebu Economic Zone, a P27.1-billion manufacturing special economic zone in Medellin, Cebu is the biggest ecozone investment among the eight projects
The Lima Technology Center-SEZ in Malvar, Batangas and the expansion of Gateway Business Park-SEZ in General Trias, Cavite have combined investments of P233.260 million.
Meanwhile, the four new IT [arks will bring in investments of P1.474 billion.