Foreign investments approved by the government’s seven investment promotion agencies climbed 112.8 percent in 2019 to P390.11 billion from P183.35 billion in 2018, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
The figures were based on investment approvals by the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan, Board of Investments, Board of Investments in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Clark Development Corp., Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, Philippine Economic Zone Authority and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.
Singapore was the biggest source of foreign investment pledges last year with P176.36 billion, representing a 733-percent increase over P21.18 billion in 2018. China followed with P88.67 billion, up by 74.9 percent from P50.69 billion a year ago, while South Korea ranked third with P41.47 billion, up 21 times from P1.88 billion in 2018.
BOI cornered the bulk of foreign investment approvals last year with P335.74 billion, up from just P103.97 billion in the previous year.
PEZA’s foreign investment approvals, however, went down to P49.26 billion in 2019 from P68.32 billion in 2018.
Foreign projects registered with SBMA increased to P2.87 billion from P804 million in 2018 while foreign pledges approved by CDC declined to P1.26 billion from P7.15 billion.
Meanwhile, foreign investments approved in the fourth quarter rose 17.3 percent to P112.1 billion from P95.6 billion in the same period in 2018.
“Foreign investments for the fourth quarter of 2019 were mainly driven by investments from China which accounted for 77.0 percent, followed by South Korea and the United States of America. China committed P86.3 billion,” the PSA said in a statement.
“Meanwhile, South Korea and USA pledged P6 billion and P5.5 billion or 5.3 percent and 4.9 percent of the total approved foreign investments, respectively,” it said.
Data showed that the approved investments of foreign and Filipino nationals in the fourth quarter of 2019 were expected to generate 55,946 jobs, down by 23 percent compared with the previous year’s projected employment of 72,630.
The PSA said of the total anticipated jobs, 78.8 percent would be absorbed by projects with foreign interest.