WHILE many countries were severely hit by the global crisis, the Philippines’ net basis on Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) has remained positive, an official of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.

BSP officer-in-charge Diwa Guinigundo said the FDI has remained positive particularly in business process outsourcing (BPO) and the support provided by the mining and power sector.

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“Philippines’ FDI has sustained its net positive position. Its market confidence is stronger compared to the other countries in the Asia Pacific region that were severely hit in the crisis,” Guinigundo said.

Loans

BSP recorded a net inflow of FDI of about $1.9 billion last year. Of the figure, $170 million was recorded in December due to loans of local utilities from their parent companies abroad. That represented a year-on-year growth of 26.2 percent.

“The country continued to attract foreign investments in 2009 as investors recognized the relative strength of the country’s underlying macroeconomic fundamentals, with inflation continuing to be low and falling within target, the external payments position remaining favorable and the economic growth showing resilience amidst the strength in domestic demand,” Guinigundo said.

Investment sources

Bulk of the investments, BSP said, came from the United States, Japan, Hong Kong and the Netherlands.

The reinvested earnings account also recorded $84 million net inflows in 2009 as foreign investors opted to plough back corporate earnings to local enterprises.

This year, BSP’s outlook on FDI will be largely stable with some increase, Guinigundo said.

“This is on the premise that global recovery will be on firmer footing so that there will be slight recovery in FDI in emerging markets,” he added.

Mining, he said will be one of the most promising industries while a P12 billion revenues in BPOs is expected if there will be continued inflows of FDI.

Guinigundo was in Cebu yesterday to formally open BSP’s first Financial Education Expo (Fin-Ed Expo) held at the BSP Regional Office.

“Cebu was tapped as the venue of the launching because of its significant contribution to the national economy. Cebu’s gross domestic product (GDP) is active,” said Johnny Noe Ravalo, managing director of BSP’s Central Supervisory Support sun-sector.

The three-day expo will have a series of half-day sessions that will cover tips on financial planning and credit card management. Sessions on financial planning will highlight key issues to consider at different age group while credit card sessions will focus on protecting the public against credit card frauds and scams.