$14.2B investment pledges have ‘materialized’

MANILA. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. departs on Tuesday, July 25, 2023, for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for a state visit.
MANILA. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. departs on Tuesday, July 25, 2023, for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for a state visit.Photo from NIB-PNA

A TOTAL of $14.2 billion worth of investments covering 46 projects has materialized from the foreign trips of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. over the past 16 months, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

In a statement released on Sunday, February 11, 2024, the DTI said that as of December 2023, a total of $72.2 billion worth of investments, comprising 148 projects, are already at different stages.

Of the 148 projects, 46 valued at $14.2 billion and which span various sectors, such as manufacturing, IT-BPM, renewable energy, infrastructure, transport and logistics, agriculture, and retail are already operating, and/or have completed the process of registering the project with DTI’s Investment Promotion Agencies, or have commenced implementation.

The top three sectors in terms of number of projects are manufacturing with 16 projects, Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) with 10 projects and renewable energy with nine projects.

The DTI said 21 projects that have already materialized were from Japan, while 13 were from the United States.

“Investment pledges from foreign firms during the presidential visits over the past 16 months are now being actualized substantively and tangibly, boosting the position of the Philippines as a premier investment destination for foreign businesses in Asia,” the DTI said.

The agency said different countries involved in 102 projects worth $58 billion investment pledges are still under pre-implementation and planning activities.

The DTI noted that some projects require a more extended implementation period of up to seven years in the case of offshore wind and major physical infrastructure projects.

It noted that the duration of the implementation period depends on the sector to which a particular project belongs.

“The investment flows into the country in phases over the implementation period, during which the project transitions into operational status and begins generating revenues,” the DTI said.

“Due to relatively shorter implementation periods, investment commitments from the presidential visits in the IT-BPM sector and in light manufacturing have mostly become operational. While the foreign direct investment values are modest, the early actualization of investment commitments in these sectors contributes to the decrease in the unemployment rate in the Philippines, given that IT-BPM and manufacturing are significant generators of direct employment,” it added.

Marcos earlier issued Executive Order 18, which establishes “green lanes” for strategic investments, aimed to hasten, simplify, and automate the permit and license application processes for strategic investments in the Philippines.

As of February 8, the Board of Investments (BOI) has granted green lane certification to 41 projects, with 20 projects either having submitted commitments during the presidential visits or directly resulting from follow-through activities.

“Our dedication to turning investment pledges into reality is unwavering. We also leverage each presidential visit as a springboard for building up a pipeline of investment opportunities and making the Philippines an investment destination of choice,” DTI Secretary Fred Pascual said. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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