The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) remains optimistic on hitting its Php1 trillion investment approvals target for 2023 given the aggressive but strategic promotion initiatives being conducted globally with no less than President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as the country’s top salesman.  

Complementing these aggressive investment promotion efforts, Trade Secretary Fred Pascual said the country is off to a great start in 2023 with the strong performance of the economy with a 7.6 percent GDP growth. This growth rate, Secretary Pascual said, surpasses the official target of 6.5 to 7.5 percent for the year, which makes the Philippines as one of the fastest-growing economies in the Asia-Pacific.  “Such growth is remarkable as it is the country’s biggest economic expansion in nearly 50 years since 1976’s 8.8 percent growth. This is a testament to the efficiency of our government’s post-pandemic recovery efforts. We shall continue our aggressive investment promotion campaigns as investments are also set to provide higher quality and better-paying jobs for the Filipinos,” Secretary Pascual said. 

Just six weeks at the onset of the new year, total investment projects approved by the lead investment promotion agency reached Php414.3 billion based on latest BOI figures (as of February 09, 2023), surging by 142.9 percent compared to the same period last year when it recorded Php170.5 billion. 

“With investment prospects being very positive, and as we continue to receive serious interest from global investors, we are definitely on track to meeting our annual investment target of Php1 trillion. We are not even through with the second month of the year and we already have secured nearly half of our full-year target for investment approvals,” he added.  

“So far, the agency still has potential investment leads of around Php344 billion that will still be processed and more likely than ever, we may have 80 to 90 percent of the target even before the middle of the year,” Secretary Pascual stated.  “The increase in investments proves that the government’s promotional visits abroad led by no less than the President himself, are working as a growing number of investors from around the globe, from Southeast Asia, the US, Belgium, China, and most recently Japan, have shown strong interest in putting in more investments into the country,” he boasted.   

Secretary Pascual also noted that BOI foreign investment approvals performed even better, accelerating to Php163 billion in the same period, a stunning 65,436 percent growth from just Php249 million in the same timeline in 2022. It accounted for nearly 40 percent of the aggregate total with domestic investment nods taking up the rest with Php251.3 billion, a 47.6 percent rise from Php170.3 billion last year.   

Based on latest BOI figures (January to February 9, 2023), the bulk of foreign capital is from Germany with Php157 billion followed by the Netherlands (Php2.7 billion), Japan (Php524 million), the United States (Php509 million), and the United Kingdom (194 million).  

Conversely, BOI registered the largest approvals in 2022 among the investment promotion agencies (IPAs), Php729 billion of Php927 billion, equivalent to 76 percent of total IPA foreign and domestic approved investments. 

“BOI-approved foreign capital for barely the first months of 2023 has already reached 56 percent of the total figure for all IPAs last year. So, this year looks very promising with heightened prospects and through our collective efforts, we are on course to surpass the 2022 figure way ahead of time,” Secretary Pascual added. 

In terms of regional dispersion, investments in Western Visayas led the way with Php293.3 billion, and CALABARZON took up second place with Php111.7 billion. Eastern Visayas (Php3.5 billion), Central Luzon (Php3 billion), and National Capital Region (Php783 million) completed the top five regions. 

The renewable energy/power sector remains dominant with Php398.7 billion in approvals to date, up 138 percent from the same period last year with Php167.9 billion. Manufacturing is also on the upswing with Php12.3 billion in approvals, up 13,982 percent from just Php87 million in the same time frame in 2022. Administrative services (Php1.3 billion), agriculture (Php901 million), and transportation (Php847 million) also make up the biggest sectors. 

Among the top projects approved for January 2023 is German-owned wpd Philippines, Inc.’s Php392 billion offshore wind farms located in Cavite, Negros Occidental, and Guimaras, which will provide greener power solutions to local communities and businesses.  

In conclusion, Secretary Pascual said that “We aim to be a global hub for sustainability and green projects that align with the national government’s policy of promoting cleaner sources of energy, for which full foreign ownership is now allowed under the amended implementing rules and regulations of the Renewable Energy Act.” *

Date of release: 18 February 2023