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Business

2018 BOI investments hit record high of P907.2 B

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star
2018 BOI investments hit record high of P907.2 B
Final figures from the BOI showed the agency approved P907.2 billion worth of investments for this year, 47 percent higher than the previous record high of P617 billion in 2017.
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MANILA, Philippines — Investments approved by the Board of Investments (BOI) hit a new all-time high this year, exceeding the agency’s P680-billion target.

Final figures from the BOI showed the agency approved P907.2 billion worth of investments for this year, 47 percent higher than the previous record high of P617 billion in 2017.

“We hit another record-breaking investment in BOI’s 51-year history, beating the P617 billion in 2017 by a wide margin,” Trade Secretary and BOI chairman Ramon Lopez said.

He said the manufacturing sector was among the drivers for the banner performance as investments in the sector rose more than four-fold to P409.3 billion this year from just P96 billion last year.

Other top performing sectors were the transportation and storage with investments jumping by 628 percent to P129.6 billion this year from just P17.8 billion in 2017; water and sewerage sector with investments soaring to P14.3 billion from just P894.4 million a year ago; retail sector with investments rising to P8.1 billion from P2.7 billion; and the accommodation sector with P39.9 billion, up sharply from P11.3 billion.

“The surge in investments in these sectors is important as it helps build a much larger production capacity for the future that will create more jobs for Filipinos as well as reduce the country’s trade balance with more import substitution and greater export capacities,” Lopez said.

In terms of source, the bulk of BOI-approved investments came from domestic companies which promised to invest P803.2 billion this year, 35 percent higher than last year’s P595 billion.

Approved foreign investments surged by 378 percent to P104 billion this year from just P21.7 billion a year ago.

China was the biggest source of foreign investments this year, bringing in P48.7 billion worth of investments which soared by a dramatic 8,364 percent from just P575.8 million last year.

British Virgin Islands came in second with P15.6 billion worth of investments for renewable projects of Pulangi Hydro Power Corp., and the projects of Victorias Milling Co. Inc. and two mass housing projects of Raemulan Lands Inc.

Singapore, which placed third, accounted for P13.6 billion worth of investments mainly through Vires Energy Corp.; followed by Indonesia with P7.5 billion mostly through Citra Central Expressway Corp.; Japan with P4.2 billion for projects of Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. and Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp.; and Malaysia with P2.9 billion through retailing.

As for the location of projects, most were outside Metro Manila with total regional investments accounting for 86 percent of the total BOI-approved investments figure.

By region, Region X or Northern Mindanao accounted for the lion’s share of investment with P228.8 billion, well above the P7.2 billion a year ago.

This was followed by Region IV or CALABARZON (Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon) with P185 billion, Region III or Central Luzon on third place with P169.3 billion, and the National Capital Region on the fourth spot with P123.6 billion.

“More important than the record-breaking investment level is the strategic importance of these approved projects. This will result in industrial empowerment, particularly with the upstream, heavy industrial projects that will allow us to expand our capability to manufacture finished goods currently not produced in the country. Together with the investments in key logistics, infrastructure and power projects including LNG terminals, these approved projects will strengthen the local industrial production base as it impacts on improving the general level of competitiveness of Philippine industries and pushing development to the regions,” Lopez said.

He also said the projects would be beneficial in addressing the problem of the country’s widening trade deficit.

Given the fresh peak in approved investments this year, Trade Undersecretary and BOI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo said it is inevitable for the agency to aim for another historic milestone—the trillion mark next year.

“We are confident of hitting yet another growth in investment registrations next year with the impending entry of big-ticket projects as concrete fruits of the administration’s investment roadshows,” he said.

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BOARD OF INVESTMENTS

RAMON LOPEZ

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