Total approved investments with the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) remain steady on the upside as it nabbed Php312.8 B from January to July 2019, a 24 percent increase from the same period last year. Majority of these approved investments, 96.25 percent, are located outside of Metro Manila.

Approved foreign investments hit Php69.6 B through July, posting a 348 percent upturn while local investments remained upward at Php243.2 B, a 2.7 percent jump from that of January to July 2018. Singapore remained the top among foreign investors with Php35.4 B. Netherlands came in second with Php9.2 B, with Thailand (Php8.6 B), Japan (Php5.8 B) and the United States (Php2.4 B) completing the top five.

Investors continue to signal their strong confidence in the Philippines and the Duterte administration despite the challenges generated by the global tensions among nations. This growth was still resilient enough to withstand the global demand downturn brought about by the lingering trade dispute between the U.S. and China, the trade spat between Japan and South Korea, and other geopolitical tensions. We remain among the fastest growing economies in Asia and we are among the few countries to even register a 1.5% export growth in July. Elevated inflation is now a thing of the past as the latest inflation rate eased to just 2.4 percent, the lowest in more than two years. We have improved 19 places further in the Global Innovation Index. With the recent signing of the Innovative Startup Act, we will encourage innovation that will make our products not only meet local demand but ensure it is at par with international standards to boost our exports,” Trade Secretary and BOI Chairman Ramon M. Lopez.

Lopez added that, “We also have to diversify our markets by identifying new destinations for more opportunities while ensuring that our domestic base remains strong and on the upswing to soften the impact of these trade disputes. The recent trade spat between Korea and Japan should urge us to escalate and complete the negotiation of the free trade agreement with South Korea and review or enhance the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement to avail of more opportunities and exchanges with Japan. Despite the obstacles to global trade, we have to adapt as we make a push for our domestic industries to grow and move forward.”

“Our investments are still growing amid the international tensions. We still have a lot of pending projects that need thorough study and evaluation. I am still confident that by the end of the year, we are going to attain our target despite the global uncertainties. We assure foreign investors that the Philippines is a safe haven for their investments and they should take advantage of our very strong domestic demand and commit to long-term deals,” Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo said.

Power projects remained among the biggest investments with Php195.1 B, a 65.3 percent increase from Php118 B in the same period last year. The manufacturing sector surged on with Php46.1 B, a 132.6 percent jump from Php19.8 B in January to June 2018. The information and communication sector posted a 9,680 percent increase to Php33.2 B from merely Php340 M last year. The tourism accommodation sector rolled to Php9 B, up 618 percent from Php1.3 B in 2018. The Human Health and Social Work Activities (Hospitals) registered a 37 percent jump from Php1.3 B in 2018 to Php1.8 B to date.

Region IVA – Calabarzon remained steady at the top among regions, cornering the lion’s share with Php203.3 B or 65 percent of the total figure. Region III – Central Luzon was second with Php29.3 B. NCR placed third (Php11.7 B) or just 3.7 percent of the total investments to date. Region II – Cagayan Valley (Php10 B) and Region VII – Central Visayas (Php9.4 B) completed the top five regions.

Among the notable projects that got the nod in July were Php 1.7 B Airbus plane project by Cebu Air., Inc.; the Php1.4 B 9.4 megawatt (MW) hydropower project of At Dinum Co. in Nueva Ecija; the Php728 M hydropower facility of Coto Hydro Corp. in Zambales; Integrated Meat and Poultry Processing Inc.’s Php410 M poultry dressing plant in Bataan; and the Php381 M low-cost housing project of Borland Development Corp. in Batangas.♦

Date of Release: 20 August 2019