TAGUIG CITY—During the investment campaign series co-presented by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through the Board of Investments (BOI) and the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) with a theme, “Mapping the Investment Ecosystem: Mining the Sweet Spots”, DTI Secretary Fred Pascual boasted of the significant growth of investments in the country, which serves as a testament that the Philippines is indeed on a solid path toward robust economic recovery and expansion. 

“In 2023, the Board of Investments, which are here, aims to secure PHP1.5 trillion in investments. During the first quarter of 2023, total investment projects approved by the BOI reached close to PHP500 billion, a staggering 155% surge compared to the same period in 2022. BOI foreign investment approvals also accelerated to PHP 165.4 billion during the same period, marking close to 4,000% increase,” Secretary Pascual said. 

The Philippine government is focused on fortifying the domestic economy by bringing in more investors and ensuring that game-changing economic reforms are implemented, which will further improve ease of doing business and will make the Philippines more attractive to foreign investors. One of these is the recently-ratified Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement that is expected to enhance regional trade and provide increased market access for Filipino exporters. 

“For instance, RCEP will prove advantageous for the garments industry in the Philippines, allowing them to source fabric and textiles from 14 other countries, including China, and export their products to a more extensive market. Another beneficiary of RCEP, for example, is the fish canning industry. Canning factories can source raw materials from non-RCEP Parties and produce canned tuna for export to RCEP countries,” Secretary Pascual explained. 

Aside from RCEP, the Philippines has also taken significant strides in improving the country’s business climate through the passage of the Retail Trade Liberalization Act (RTLA), amendment of the Public Service Act (PSA), and the Foreign Investments Act (FIA), which facilitated the easing of restrictions on foreign ownership in certain sectors. 

Further, on 23 February 2023, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has signed Executive Order (EO) No. 28 constituting green lanes for strategic investments. This forms part of the President’s commitment to address investors’ pain points in terms of doing business through a whole-of-government approach. Through EO No. 18, a single point of entry for strategic investments will be established and will be managed by the BOI through the creation of the One-Stop-Action-Center for Strategic Investments (OSAC-SI). 

Secretary Pascual emphasized that “These game-changing reforms are set to attract increased investments moving forward. We want investments that will enable the Philippines to leapfrog, that is, to quickly advance to higher-value industrialization by skipping intermediate stages of development. We are particularly interested in investments that promote advancements in science, technology, and innovation to foster innovative industries.” 

Meanwhile, the investment campaign series is an initiative which forms part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the DTI and MAP, with the aim of intensifying the promotion of the Philippines as an ideal investment destination for global businesses. Through the BOI, DTI will work closely with MAP in the implementation of investment promotion campaigns as private sector’s expertise and networks also serve crucial in helping the country generate more investments and employment opportunities. 

Also present during the event were Pangasinan 4th District Representative Toff De Venecia, Asian Development Bank (ADB) Country Director Kelly Bird, MAP President Atty. Benedicta Du-Baladad, and other public and private sector representatives. *

Date of release: 19 April 2023