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Singapore is PH’s biggest investor

June 13, 2019 - Thursday 2:06 PM by Lovely Carillo

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Foreign investments in the Philippines continue to be on the upsurge with Singapore still the biggest foreign investor with P35.4 billion worth of investments in the country.

This is followed by the Netherlands with investments worth P9.1 billion, Thailand  with P8.5 billion, Japan with P5.5 billion, and the United States with P2.4 billion.

Data from the Board of Investments (BOI) show an upward trend in investment from foreign sources from P6.9 billion in January to May 2018 to P67 billion during the same period this year. Domestic investments also grew from P200.5 billion to P223.5 billion.

“With the Philippine economy up four notches to 46th in the latest World Competitive Yearbook rankings, the vote of confidence of the administration affirmed in the May mid-term elections with the resounding victory of most of its candidates and allies, is seen to sustain investor confidence in the Philippines,” Trade Secretary and BOI Chairman Ramon Lopez said in a statement released on Tuesday.

BOI has recorded a 40.1 percent increase in the amount of total approved investments from P207.5 billion in January to May last year to P290.6 billion during the same period this year.

Lopez said the recent visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Japan will provide added boost to the investment climate. 

Duterte was inked up to P300 billion in investment deals, business expansion and letter of intent for Japanese firms to channel more capital into the country. All these are expected to create more than 80,000 additional jobs for Filipinos.

Power projects make up the biggest share in the country’s BOI-registered investments at P185.4 billion, This is a 74 percent from the P106.5 billion investments last year.

Investments in the manufacturing sector also increased by 130.5 percent from P19.4 billion to P44.6 billion this year. 

The information and communication sector also significantly increased by 9,669 percent from P340 million in 2018 to P33.2 billion this year. This year’s investments in tourism accommodation facilities is also up by 733 percent from only P1 billion last year to P8.4 billion this year.

“Power projects are essential as it fuels the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program of the government and the demands of a growing population,” Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said. There are big power projects that will complement the infrastructure projects in the coming months even as we exercise due diligence for projects that are deserving of incentives, he added.

Rodolfo said the country has to ensure that its power supply will be able to accommodate the strong demand of its massive infrastructure projects and population, as well as the rapid expansion of its industries, led by the manufacturing sector.

He added that for the month of May, several manufacturing and service facilities got the nod of the board. 

Among the manufacturing sector investments approved by the BOI in May are the P700-million shipping project of Southwest Gallant Ferries, Inc., which will service the Batangas, Romblon and Roxas City routes; the P400-million Cavendish banana facility of Tren2 Agri-Industries in Agusan del Sur, which will be exported once operational; and eight low-cost housing projects worth P2 billion, spread across the regions of Calabarzon and Central Luzon.

Region 4-A (Calabarzon) remains the top investment destination with P200.9 billion, followed by Region 3 (Central Luzon), with P27.1 billion; and the National Capital Region (NCR) with P7.9 billion. Completing the top five are Region 7 (Central Visayas) with P5.7 billion; and Region 2 (Cagayan Valley) with P4.4 billion.

“We will continue to spread economic development in the regions as records show barely 3 percent of investments are located in the NCR with the rest (97 percent) going to the countryside,” Rodolfo said.