Philippines among top 15 FDI destinations in next 3 years

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines is now among the top 15 preferred investment destinations of multinational enterprises in the next three years, according to the latest World Investment Report 2016 of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

UNCTAD said China, India and the United States remain the preferred destinations for foreign direct investments (FDIs) between this year until 2018. Hong Kong and Singapore were bumped off from last year’s list and were replaced by the Philippines and Myanmar.

The top investment host destinations for the three-year period are ranked as follows: United States, China, India, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, France, Australia, Myanmar and Vietnam.

UNCTAD noted the Philippines implemented several “noteworthy measures” such as removing foreign ownership restriction on lending firms, investment houses and financing companies.

The report said multinational firms have their eyes trained on long-term trends such as rising urbanization and developing and developed countries because of the expanding consumer market.

Other considerations in investing include the development of digital economy, energy security, food security and overall peace and order.

By industry, multinational firms are most bullish on making investments in information and communication industry, agriculture, food and beverages and utilities.

“Extractive industries do not appear among the most promising in any region,” the report said.

These industries are closely-linked to meeting emerging economies’ development goals, and catering to the consumption needs of a “burgeoning, urbanizing consumer market,” the report added.

UNCTAD said global FDI flow is expected to decline 10 to 15 percent this year and resume growth in 2017. Foreign investments are then expected to surpass the $1.8-trillion mark in 2018.

“The expected decline of FDI flows in 2016 reflect the fragility of the global economy, persistent weakness of aggregate demand and a slump in MNE (multinational enterprises) profits,” said the report.

UNCTAD said global gross domestic product is expected to expand only 2.4 percent in the near term.

“A tumultuous start to 2016 in global commodity and financial markets, added to the continuing drop in oil prices, have increased economic risks in many parts of the world,” said the report.

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