Foreign businesses continue to show strong confidence in the country’s continued growth, directing large sums of capital into the country as evident in the 156.7% increase in investment approvals with the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) in the first 10 months of the year. The country’s primary industry development and lead investment promotion agency reported that foreign investment approvals from January to October 2018 reached P39.3B compared to the P15.3B recorded in the same period last year.
Overall, investment approvals with the agency reached P515.9B in the first 10 months of 2018, a 26.2-% increase compared to the same period last year where it reached P408.8B.
“The latest BOI investment figure is a concrete testament to the continued confidence of the international investing community on the strong fundamentals of the Philippine economy and the policy reforms and infrastructure development under President Duterte’s administration,” said Trade Secretary and BOI Chairman Ramon Lopez.
“Investments continue to drive growth, based on foreign direct investments (FDIs) and the latest BOI numbers, as investors see the political will of the current administration to institute reforms such as the recently passed Ease of Doing Business Law, as well other factors such as policies leading to further liberalization of more sectors to allow greater foreign equity and reap the potential of demographic dividends such as the growing middle class in a 106-million Philippine market size economy and the young professionals with greater purchasing power,” Secretary Lopez said.
Among the main country-sources of FDIs are Indonesia with P6.4B, Malaysia with P2.9B, Japan with P2.8B, Australia  with P1.1 billion, China  with P1.1B, the United States of America  with P612M, Italy  with P485.7M, Singapore with P404.1M, and finally Switzerland with P357.7M.
To further complement the already strong economic fundamentals, Secretary Lopez also said, “The agency is seriously geared towards spearheading the much-needed investments promotion and policy initiatives such as the Strategic Investments Priority Plan (SIPP)—a key in creating more jobs and business opportunities that will spread more prosperity and enable more Filipinos to beat poverty.”  The BOI is already in high gear as SIPP roadshows are being launched across the provinces in the archipelago, in preparation for the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High- Quality Opportunities or TRABAHO Bill. 
The positive January to October 2018 BOI investment figures was significantly boosted by the approval of strategic projects such as Petron Corporation’s P81.9B condensate processing complex project, FGEN LNG Corporation’s P62.5B LNG Terminal Project, Pulangi Hydro Power Corporation’s Php38 billion renewable energy development of hydropower resources project, Citra Central Expressway Corporation’s P25.7B Metro Manila Skyway project, SteelAsia Manufacturing Corporation’s P24.1B heavy steel section project, Solar Philippines Commercial Rooftop Projects Incorporated’s P19B (Zambales), P13.6B (Tarlac), and P13.6B (Batangas) solar energy development projects, APO Agua Infrastructure Incorporated’s P13.3B bulk water supply project, and Ionic Cementworks Industries Incorporated’s Php12B cement production project.
Energy/power, manufacturing, transportation and storage, construction/PPP and real estate made up for the top five key industries that importantly boosted the latest BOI investment approval figures.  Remarkable increases in manufacturing investment projects was also noted, up by 271.32% to P142.862B from only P38.474B in the same period last year.
“We are pleased with the remarkable increase in manufacturing investments.  With the strong domestic demand being serviced by merchandise imports, additional investments is needed to boost our manufacturing base that will also expand our capacity to export and address the perennial structural issue of our trade deficit for the past many decades,” said Secretary Lopez.  “We need to work together to attract more investments and address all roadblocks to achieving a competitive industrial structure such as power cost, logistics costs, greater access to major agricultural inputs to many industries like sugar and agriculture supply at competitive prices,” he said.
Investment projects continue to be dispersed in the countryside with the bulk of the investments poured in the Calabarzon and Central Luzon regions, with P165.3B and P165Bn worth of projects approved respectively.  Investment projects to be located in the National Capital Region only came in third with P66.1B, followed by Northern Mindanao with P40B, and Davao Region with P17B.
“After the record-breaking investment approval figure of P617B in 2017, the agency is working hard to breach its investment target of P680B for this year. The rest of the year should be pretty exciting. There are several big-ticket projects undergoing strict evaluation process, to ensure that incentives are needed to realize their strategic impact,” Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said.
Date of release: 07 November 2018