Investment commitments climbed 27.4 percent in the first half to P304.4 billion from a year ago, the Board of Investments said Wednesday.
“Our economy remains strong, and we remain all the more optimistic as the budget impasse has been resolved. All indicators point to the economy accelerating in the second quarter to around 6 percent due to robust domestic consumption. Our business confidence remains the most bullish among Asean countries and even topped all 34 economies surveyed by Grant Thornton’s International Business Report this year,” said Trade Secretary and BoI chairman Ramon Lopez.
Data showed commitments from foreign investors surged 375.3 percent in the six-month period to P68.9 billion while approved domestic investments rose 5 percent to P235.6 billion.
Singapore retained its position as the country’s largest foreign investor with P35.4 billion, followed by The Netherlands with P9.2 billion and Thailand with P8.5 billion. Japan and the United States rounded up the five biggest foreign investors with investments of P5.8 billion and P2.4 billion, respectively.
Power projects accounted for the lion’s share of total investments with P192.4 billion, a 77.9-percent increase from last year’s P108.2 billion. The resurgence of the manufacturing sector continued with P45.3 billion in investments to date, up 128.4 percent from P19.8 billion in January to June 2018.
The information and communication sector posted a 9,680-percent upsurge to P33.2 billion from just P340 million last year while tourism accommodation steamrolled to P8.6 billion, up 591 percent from P1.2 billion last year.
“Year-on-year, investments are still increasing. We are confident of surpassing our target at the end of the year. There are big-ticket projects in the pipeline, but we are exercising”•as we do in all cases”•prudence in diligently assessing their eligibility for incentives,” Trade Undersecretary and BoI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo said.
Countryside development continued to be in full swing with 96 percent of investments spread to other regions other than the National Capital Region.
Calabarzon continued as the top investment location with P201.2 billion and followed by Central Luzon with P27.7 billion.
NCR placed third with P11.3 billion, accounting for just 4 percent of the total figure. The rest went to Cagayan Valley with P8.7 billion and Central Visayas with P7.7 billion.
Rodolfo said among the latest approvals were the P4-billion, 19.7-megawatt hydropower project of Rio Norte Hydropower Corp. in Isabela, the P4.7-billion acquisition of the newest models of Airbus planes by Cebu Air. Inc. and the P2.3-billion 15-MW thermal power plant of DMCI Masbate Power Corp. in Masbate.
Another notable project was the P47-million export production of coconut products by Aseniero International Trading in Zamboanga del Norte that involves a yearly output of 324,000 kilos of coconut sugar, 246,240 kilos of coconut syrup and 2.8 million liters of coconut vinegar which are geared for exports.