Foreign investment pledges down 51.8% in 2017

MANILA, Philippines – Total foreign investment pledges for the Philippines fell by more than half in 2017, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Data released by the PSA on Thursday, February 22, showed that total foreign investment pledges approved by the 7 investment promotion agencies last year totaled P105.6 billion, lower by 51.8% from P219 billion in 2016.

These 7 agencies include the Board of Investments (BOI), Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), Clark Development Corporation (CDC), Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB), BOI-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BOI-ARMM), and Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA).

These agencies are tasked with approving investments which then count as foreign direct investment flows once the projects materialize.

Significant drop in 4th quarter

For the last 3 months of 2017 alone, total foreign investment pledges amounted to only P21.6 billion, down 82.8% compared to the P125.7 billion approved in the same period in 2016.

The PSA noted that by region, Calabarzon received the highest amount of foreign investment pledges at P6.4 billion (29.5%), followed by Metro Manila with P5.5 billion (25.4%) and Central Luzon with P4.9 billion (22.6%).

Japan made the largest amount of investment pledges with 24% of the total approved investments during the 4th quarter of 2017, followed by the United States with 14.9% and Singapore with 8.3%.

The majority of the investment pledges are in manufacturing with P8.3 billion (38.4%) and real estate with P5.1 billion (23.5%).

Data taken from the 7 agencies, however, showed that when foreign investment pledges are combined with pledges from Filipinos, the amount of investments in the 4th quarter of 2017 reached P282.4 billion, up 2.8% compared to the P274.8 billion in the same period in 2016.

The PSA added that the total projects of foreign and Filipino investors approved by the 7 agencies in the 4th quarter of 2017 are expected to generate 29,813 jobs.

Out of the total anticipated jobs for the period, 64.1% would come from projects with foreign interest, according to the PSA. – Rappler.com