BoI beats 2016 investment-pledge growth goal

THE Board of Investments (BoI) said it approved P441.8 billion worth of investment pledges in 2016, up 20.4% year on year.

In a statement, the investment arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said that this is its second highest value of registered projects since 2000, next to the P466 billion registered in 2013.

This surpassed the high end of the full year target growth projection of 20%, DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said in a media briefing late last year.

Mr. Lopez attributed the growth to sustained investor confidence in the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals, further helped by President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s state visits since he assumed office in June.

“With the investment missions that we are doing, investors have gained greater awareness of the Philippines’ strong and growing economy,” the trade official said in a statement.

The total investment proposals account for 377 projects which are expected to generate about 67,615 new jobs when these become fully operational.

Projects in the real estate sector are expected to generate the most jobs with 32,055, followed by manufacturing with 17,067.

BoI said local companies account for 80% of the total figure or P352.5 billion.

On the other hand, foreign investment pledges in 2016, which grew 50% from the year earlier, amounted to P89.3 billion — an indication that BoI said showed a “the growing foreign investor interest and confidence.”

Australia topped the list of foreign investors for the year, accounting for investments worth P30.5 billion. Singapore came in second with P13.6 billion, followed by The Netherlands with P13.1 billion, Japan with P6.8 billion, and South Korea with P6.4 billion.

The Calabarzon region topped the list of investment destinations with P102.1 billion worth of projects. The National Capital Region followed with P95.3 billion, and then Central Luzon with P56.5 billion.

BoI also noted the significant improvement in pledges in the Cordillera Administrative Region, which received P34.8 billion, up 40,528% from 2015.

Topping the list of investments for the year are power projects (P209.9 billion), real estate activities (P65.8 billion), construction (P62.3 billion), manufacturing (P49 billion), and transportation and storage (P23.4 billion).

Investment in construction and manufacturing were among the fastest growing at 644.8% and 81.3%, respectively.

Trade Undersecretary and BoI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo pointed this to “a clear indication of the results of our Manufacturing Resurgence Program.”

“The revival of the manufacturing sector is key to inclusive economic growth because it will generate much-needed decent employment and help the country tap regional production networks,” he was quoted in the statement saying. — Roy Stephen C. Canivel

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