Presidential state visits drive surge in FDI inflows, employment rate

Presidential Communications Office
Presidential Communications Office

Recent data indicate the significant impact of the state visits of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., together with Department Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual and other Cabinet officials, on the Philippine economy as the national government recorded a notable increase in net foreign direct investments (FDI) inflows across various sectors and a reduction in the unemployment rate last year.

Based on the report of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) covering January to November 2023, Manufacturing led in gross placements of equity capital with 50 percent, followed by Real Estate (15 percent) and Financial and Insurance (12 percent). 

FDI net inflows surged by 27.8 percent year-on-year to US$1.048 billion in November 2023, up from $820 million recorded in November 2022. This growth broke three consecutive months of contraction.

"Indeed, we are making it happen in the Philippines. The pipeline of projects initiated during President Marcos Jr.'s presidential visits, along with the goodwill fostered, is starting to yield tangible results, as shown by the latest FDI report from BSP. From January to November last year, we observed a substantial rise in FDIs in manufacturing and a significant surge in FDIs originating from Germany," said Secretary Fred Pascual who is also the chairman of the Board of Investments (BOI).

During the first 11 months of the year, Japan (US$667.58 million), Singapore (US$158.88 million), Germany (US$149.80 million), and the United States (US$110.8 million) emerged as the primary sources of equity capital placements. Germany garnered the highest increase in growth rates, jumping by 1,571.83 percent from US$8.96 million in January to November 2022 to US$149.80 million for the same period in 2023.

One significant example of FDIs coming to fruition is the P649 million Infinivan domestic subsea submarine cable project that registered with the BOI in December 2023. 

The 40 percent Japanese-owned venture, which is aimed at providing faster fiber internet speeds for Filipinos, has already activated key areas in the country including Iloilo, Bacolod, Boracay, and Caticlan. Notably, President Marcos, Jr. led the lighting-up ceremony of the Philippine Domestic Submarine Cable Network (PDSCN) on 15 February 2024.

Through initiatives such as this, the Philippines reaffirms its commitment to bolster investments broadening internet accessibility for its citizens. Such efforts also contribute to improving the country's global ranking in broadband and mobile internet speed and coverage.

FDIs play a pivotal role in driving economic growth, fostering technological advancements, and generating employment opportunities across various Southeast Asian nations. 

As highlighted by the BSP, the net inflow of FDIs is a crucial indicator of the Philippines’ investment climate, which are firm capital inflows that offer employment opportunities.

Following the recent presidential visits, the influx of investments has injected vitality into the Philippine economy that led to tangible improvements, particularly in employment figures.

Meanwhile, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the number of unemployed Filipinos decreased. 

The number of unemployed individuals aged 15 and above dropped to 1.6 million in December 2023, down from 1.83 million in the preceding month. The Philippines recorded a 96.9% employment rate in December 2023, which indicates that 50.52 million Filipinos were employed and mark a slight uptick from the 49.64 million employed Filipinos recorded in November 2023. PR


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