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Investors commit P441.8 B projects in 2016

MANILA, Philippines – Investment pledges approved by the Board of Investments (BOI) continued to pile up in the second half of the year, pushing the full year total to its second highest level in 16 years.

The BOI said investment commitments in 2016 surpassed its target, soaring 20.4 percent to P441.8 billion from the P366.7 billion recorded in the previous year.

The country’s main investment promotion agency said the value of registered projects last year was the second highest recorded since 2000, next to the P466 billion posted in 2013.

The BOI said the 20.4 percent year-on-year growth likewise exceeded the agency’s seven percent growth target for 2016.

Trade Secretary and BOI chairman Ramon Lopez said the jump in investment pledges was driven by the continued confidence of investors with the country’s sustained strong macroeconomic fundamentals and in President Duterte’s socio-economic agenda.

Lopez said the higher investment commitments were also a product of Duterte’s various state visits during his first six months in office.

“With the investment missions that we are doing, investors have gained greater awareness of the Philippines’ strong and growing economy,” he said, noting President Duterte always assures investors the government will honor, secure and protect their investments during presidential state visits.

The total investment approvals in 2016 came from 377 projects and are expected to generate about 67,615 in new jobs when these investment projects become fully operational, the BOI reported.

Investment projects registered were mainly from local companies, accounting for 80 percent of the total at P352.5 billion.

The remaining 20 percent, meanwhile, came from investments from foreign sources amounting to P89.3 billion.

The BOI said foreign investment pledges for the year were higher by 50 percent against the P59.5 billion in 2015.

It added the foreign investment level in the second semester was almost double that of the first semester, indicating “growing foreign investor interest and confidence.”

Topping the list of country investors was Australia with investments worth P30.5 billion. Singapore came in second with investments amounting to P13.6 billion, followed by Netherlands with P13.1 billion, Japan with P6.8 billion and South Korea with P6.4 billion.

In terms of geographic distribution, the BOI said Region 4A received the most investment commitments with P102.1 billion worth of projects, followed by the National Capital Region with investments worth P95.3 billion.

Bulk of the proposed projects in 2016 are from the industries of power at P209.9 billion, followed by real estate activities (P65.8 billion), construction (P62.3 billion), manufacturing (P49 billion), and transportation and storage (P23.4 billion).

The real estate sector is expected to generate the most number of employment with 32,055, followed by the manufacturing sector which is expected to provide jobs and income to 17,067 Filipinos.

The BOI said investments in construction and manufacturing were among the fastest growing year-on-year at 644.8 percent and 81.3 percent, respectively.

“The continued growth of the manufacturing industry is 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,” Trade Undersecretary and BOI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo said.