BOI project approvals nearing P1 trillion target

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star
BOI project approvals nearing P1 trillion target
Ceferino Rodolfo
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Investment approvals by the Board of Investments (BOI) are expected to hit the original target of P1 trillion within this month, according Trade Undersecretary and BOI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo.

“For this month, I think we will reach, by the end of today‘s board meeting we will be able to already reach P1 trillion for total approvals,” Rodolfo said in a panel discussion at the Arangkada forum.

“Initially, the target for BOI was just P1 trillion that was set in December last year, but when we saw a strong influx of investment recognitions from January to February, our target was increased to P1.5 trillion or double the actual amount of approval last year,” he said.

On top of the P1 trillion, Rodolfo said BOI was expecting about P300 billion worth of more approvals in the remaining two months of the year.

“We still have two months to reach that P1.5 trillion new target, but in terms of the old target, I think we are done with that. Realistically, we will probably reach an additional P300 billion for the next two months,” Rodolfo said.

In an interview on the sidelines of the forum, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual also expressed confidence in achieving the P1.5 trillion target.

“We’re still optimistic. We still have less than a quarter. But we’ve exceeded what was achieved last year,” Pascual said.

He noted that most of the approved investments are from the renewable energy (RE) sector.

Latest figures from the BOI showed that investment approvals reached P740 billion from January to September, already surpassing the P729 billion approved for the full year of 2022.

Rodolfo shared that most of the investments are from foreign investors, particularly in the renewable energy sector.

He said that foreign investments approved by the BOI from January to September amounted to P427 billion, nearly 60 percent of total approved investments in the three quarters of the year.

Rodolfo said projects from Germany accounted for 80 percent of the approved foreign investments.

He said a number of projects are in the pipeline from both German investors, most of which are in the RE sector.

The trade official attributed the strong interest from European investors to the President’s efforts to invite investors, citing his previous roundtable meeting with European investors in Brussels, Belgium.

“In the past, we weren’t the darling of the EU countries for some reason. But when the President said we are open for business, and they saw the policy reforms of the country, they came in,” Rodolfo said.

In a bid to attract more investments in renewable energy, the Department of Energy issued a circular last year, allowing 100 percent foreign equity in renewables.

Apart from RE, Rodolfo cited that foreign investors have also been showing interest in telecoms, mineral processing and high-technology manufacturing.

For mineral processing, most of the companies that have expressed interest are Chinese, South Korean and Japanese.

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