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Approved BOI projects surge 156% in 2 months
A breakdown of the projects registered with the BOI for the two-month period was not immediately available.
STAR/File

Approved BOI projects surge 156% in 2 months

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - March 4, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Investments approved by the Board of Investments (BOI) rose 156 percent in the first two months of the year, showing confidence in the country’s investment climate.

“Investments registered in our BOI showed sustained growth of 156.02 percent year-on-year in the first two months, January to February of this year, reaching P121.93 billion or about $2.5 billion for two months,” Trade Secretary and BOI chairman Ramon Lopez said during the First Manila Forum for China-Philippines Relations of the Association for Philippines-China Understanding yesterday.

A breakdown of the projects registered with the BOI for the two-month period was not immediately available.

While the Chinese Ministry of Commerce has reported that project contracts signed by Chinese enterprises in the Philippines increased 27.9 percent annually in the last three years, and China was the second top investment partner of the country as of the January to September period in 2020, Lopez said there are still many opportunities investors can tap.

“These include manufacturing of e-vehicles, e-bikes and bicycles; light industries manufacturing for connectivity devices, bags and textile manufacturing; and Internet of Things, smart manufacturing and AI (artificial intelligence), among so many others,” he said.

As members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, he said China can strategically partner with the Philippines, which has the advantage to become a hub for innovation, research and development, and manufacturing of design and creativity-oriented products and services in the region.

He said the government is continuing to work on facilitating greater trade and investment in the country through reforms to create a better business environment.

Among the reforms being pushed by the BOI is the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act or CREATE bill, which is awaiting the signature of President Duterte.

Lopez said CREATE would make the Philippines a more attractive destination for investments by allowing qualified activities or projects to enjoy an incentives package for a maximum of 17 years, removing export and nationality bias, and giving the President flexibility in grant of incentives for highly desirable projects.

In addition, the CREATE would reduce the corporate income tax rate immediately to 25 percent from 30 percent.

Apart from CREATE, he said the BOI also supports proposed amendments to laws like the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, the Foreign Investments Act and the Public Services Act.

“Together with CREATE, these reforms—and the review of other economic restrictions being conducted by members of Congress with the intention of removing barriers for entry— will attract more investments and create more jobs in the Philippines,” he said.

Earlier, the BOI said it aims for total approved investments by the agency to reach a new record-high of P1.25 trillion this year.

Last year, investments for projects approved by the BOI reached P1.02 trillion, the second highest level achieved by the agency, which was down 11 percent from the P1.14 trillion all-time high achieved in 2019.

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