THE Philippine Board of Investment (BOI) has surpassed its annual target of P1 trillion as it reached P1.040 trillion in investment approvals in the first 10 months of the year, with Cebu at the fifth place with P10.5 billion.
The investment approvals were the highest ever in the agency’s 52-year history with domestic investments at P709 billion and foreign investments at P331 billion.
In a statement, Trade Secretary and BOI Chairman Ramon Lopez said the feat cemented the country as an ideal investment destination.
“For the third successive year, the BOI has surpassed expectations in setting a new benchmark for investments. This validates the country’s position as among the top investment destinations globally,” Lopez said.
He attributed this to the reforms and the new laws implemented, particularly the Ease of Doing Business Act.
He pointed out that “the country’s investment climate continues to improve further with the recent 2020 World Bank Report in the Ease of Doing Business as the country improved its score from 57.7 to 62.8 and a leap of 29 places from 124th to 95th position among the 190 economies. Our double-digit improvement is even more remarkable as our country was cited as among the 42 countries which implemented regulatory reforms in more than three areas resulting in significant improvement in the score. Among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, we posted the highest improvement. This is our highest record yearly improvement in a decade.”
The January to October 2019 figure is up nearly three-fold with a 139.6 percent leap from last year’s P434 billion, the BOI said.
Local investments hit P709.1 billion, up 78.2 percent while foreign investments accounted for P330.9 billion, a nine-fold upgrade (818.2 percent) from just P36 billion in 2018.
Top foreign investors
Singapore remains the biggest foreign investor to date with P170 billion followed by China with P84.9 billion, South Korea with P39.1 billion, Netherlands (P9.1 billion), Thailand (P8.8 billion), Japan (P6.2 billion) and the United States (P2.5 billion).
The BOI said all projects upon the start of operations will create some 52,554 jobs, up 41.6 percent from last year’s 37,112 during the same period.
“This historic-setting figure of P1 trillion is all the more remarkable considering we still have two more months left in the year. And yes, there are still pending projects to be thoroughly reviewed before we give the approval,” Trade Undersecretary and BOI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo said.
Among the regions, Calabarzon landed the top spot with P372.8 billion in investment approvals. Central Luzon came second with P253.3 billion followed by Cordillera Administrative Region with P33.4 billion, the National Capital Region (P19.4 billion) and Central Visayas (P10.5 billion). (JOB with PR)