TOTAL approved investments by the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) remain steadily upward with P304.4 billion in the first half of 2019, an improvement of 27.4 percent compared to the same period last year.
Approved foreign investments hit P68.9 billion in the same period, a 375.3 percent jump from January to June 2018. Domestic investments continued to roll with P235.6 billion in the first half, posting a five percent growth vis-à-vis the first six months of last year.
Singapore retains its position as the country’s largest foreign investor with P35.4 billion. The Netherlands came second with P9.2 billion, followed by Thailand with P8.5 billion, Japan (5.8 billion) and the United States (P2.4 billion).
“Our economy remains strong, and we remain all the more optimistic as the budget impasse has been resolved. All indicators point to the economy accelerating in the second quarter to around six percent due to robust domestic consumption. Our business confidence remains the most bullish among the Southeast Asian countries and even topped all 34 economies surveyed by Grant Thornton’s International Business Report this year,” said Trade Secretary and BOI chair person Ramon Lopez.
Ready to ‘catch and absorb’
He added that the country’s gross domestic product growth remains among the fastest not only in the Southeast Asian region but the whole of Asia and its momentum is strong enough to cushion the impact of the China-US trade tensions.
“Although there is now a truce between them, we are ready to ‘catch and absorb’ investments that will be redirected from China and other countries that will bear the brunt should talks break down again. We remain hopeful they will strike a deal because the global economy is at stake. Both countries are among our largest trading partners but for any eventuality, we have to diversify our markets by going beyond the traditional ones while further strengthening our domestic base,” Lopez said.
Power projects in the first half cornered the lion’s share of the total investments with P192.4 billion, a 77.9 percent hike from last year’s P108.2 billion.
This was followed by the manufacturing sector with P45.3 billion in investments followed by the the information and communication sector with P33.2 billion in investments and tourism accommodation with P8.6 billion in investments. (PR)