The Department of Trade and Industry said Thursday it expects sustained level of investments of P1.1 trillion or over $20 billion in 2021 with the support from numerous business leads that cropped up in the fourth quarter of 2020.
“Investment approvals have already reached $15 billion so far this year, and we expect more than a P1 trillion by 2021 with potentially over 34,000 jobs generated,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said during the three-day manufacturing summit on Dec. 9 to 11.
Supporting the DTI’s goal is the follow-through of at least 90 investments leads in 2021 that would amount to an additional $24.1 billion in investments. The DTI expects pledges to hit P1 trillion by end-2020.
Lopez said the goal of the department is to sustain the momentum of investments to keep the pace of economic recovery.
He said the manufacturing gross value added was on the rebound and improved to -4.7 percent in the third quarter from -17.6 percent in the second quarter and -13.9 in the first quarter.
“Our manufacturing sector has grown to be a major driver of our economy, almost doubling its average growth rate to 5.8 percent in the 2013 to 2019 period, compared to around 3 percent in the previous decade. Manufacturing now accounts for almost 20 percent of our GDP,” Lopez said.
He said that because of the pandemic, manufacturing contracted by 11.4 percent in the first three quarters this year.
The DTI observed that manufacturing began to show signs of recovery. Data on the auto industry indicated that auto production started to pick-up, from zero production in April to more than 7,000 units in September.
“We can also see the same trend in our electrical and electronics exports, which have been climbing up to a growth of 6.3 percent in September from a low of -44.9 percent in April 2020,” Lopez said.
Lopez said production indicators from January to November showed that while there were significant declines in the first half, there was recovery in the values and volumes of production indices in recent months.