The Philippines continues to build momentum in attracting investments, following the Department of Trade and Industry’s Board of Investments (BOI) newly recorded PHP 640.22 billion worth of approved investments from January to May 2024. This marks a 14% increase from the PHP 562.90 billion reported in the same period last year, making it the highest first five-month approval in the BOI’s 57-year history.

Notably, the positive trend can be attributed to various factors, including the investment leads generated from the presidential visits of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. since 2022. These visits, along with the efforts of the BOI and other investment promotion agencies (IPAs), have been instrumental in converting potential investment interests into actualized projects and foreign direct investments (FDIs).

Further illustrating this success, in 2023, the BOI recorded significant investments from Germany amounting to PHP 393.3 billion, followed by the Netherlands (PHP 333.6 billion), Singapore (PHP 21.5 billion), Japan (PHP 2.6 billion), and the United Kingdom (PHP 1.3 billion). Key industries that attracted substantial investments involved renewable energy, information and communication, construction, real estate activities, and transportation and storage.

The continuous increase in investment approvals aligns with a surge in FDIs for the first quarter of 2024, as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) recorded a 42.07% year-on-year increase in net inflows, reaching USD 2.97 billion from January to March 2024, up from USD 2.09 billion from the same quarter in 2023. Most of these have been coming from the Netherlands, Japan, Singapore, and the United States—consistent with foreign investment approvals in 2023.

DTI Secretary and BOI Chairman Fred Pascual highlighted that the BSP statistics and the BOI’s approved investment data reflect sustained investor trust and confidence in the country and its workforce. These figures indicate the fully realized investments recorded amid the global challenges of rising inflation and economic uncertainties.

“We aspire to transform the Philippine economy and become the regional hub for smart and sustainable manufacturing and services and these data show that we are on the right track. The upward trajectory in FDI net inflows and approved investments follows the pattern of commitments from various trade missions initiated by IPAs, including the goodwill fostered through the President’s business trips abroad. These efforts have been followed through by registration approvals, and what we are seeing now are tangible results of these concerted government efforts,” Secretary Pascual underscored.

For the period of January to May 2024, foreign investments approved by the BOI amounted to PHP 114.37 billion, while domestic investments totaled PHP 525.85 billion. These projects are expected to create 13,871 jobs for Filipinos.

Switzerland emerged as the leading source of foreign investments contributing PHP 62.89 billion, followed by the Netherlands (PHP 39.33 billion), Singapore (PHP 6.07 billion), China (PHP 1.53 billion), Taiwan (PHP 1.28 billion), and the USA (PHP 953 million).

In terms of domestic investment destinations, CALABARZON (Region IV-A) notched the top spot with PHP 538.52 billion, followed by the Ilocos Region at PHP 28.49 billion. Central Luzon received PHP 24.42 billion, the Bicol Region PHP 13.28 billion, and Western Visayas PHP 8.54 billion, completing the top five regions.

Meanwhile, the Renewable Energy and Power sector continues to dominate the Philippine investment approvals landscape, with a total of PHP 607.47 billion in investments, marking a significant 20.73% increase from the previous year’s PHP 503.18 billion.

The Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing sector also exhibited robust growth, with approved investments amounting to PHP 9.56 billion. As for the Real Estate sector, it made a notable contribution by securing PHP 8.17 billion in approved investments.

Additionally, the Transportation and Storage sector saw projects valued at PHP 4.61 billion, while the Manufacturing sector attracted PHP 4.36 billion in investments. Further, the Financial and Insurance Activities sector recorded the highest growth rate, surging by 236% from PHP 67.82 million last year to PHP 227.95 million this year.

“We are indeed Making it Happen in the Philippines. The BOI, together with other IPAs, remains committed to generating more investments and maintaining the FDI growth momentum through ongoing economic reforms and proactive investment promotion. With a favorable business environment and strong investor confidence, the Philippines is well-positioned to further enhance its competitiveness and achieve sustainable economic development,” Secretary Pascual said. ♦

Date of release: 17 June 2024