BOI and Peza investment pledges jumped 40% from January to July

Investment pledges registered at the country’s two largest investment-promotion agencies—the Board of Investments (BOI) and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza)—have increased by 40 percent in the first seven months of 2017, Trade Secretary and BOI Chairman Ramon M. Lopez said on Tuesday.

During the proposed 2018 budget hearing of the agency, Lopez said the BOI and Peza combined investments have reached P393 billion from January to July 2017.

This is higher than the P280 billion approved investments of the BOI and Peza in January to July 2016, Lopez added.

“We’re happy to report that, due to successful presidential visits that our President [Duterte] has led in several countries, a lot of investments and trade commitments were generated,” Lopez told lawmakers.

Earlier, Presidential Spokesman Ernesto C. Abella said Duterte’s visit to China has resulted in $4- billion investment.

Abella added the Chief Executive’s visits to Japan and Russia have produced investment commitments of $1.85 billion and $2.5 billion, respectively.

Moreover, Lopez also said the government plans to ramp up infrastructure spending make the Philippines attractive. As much as P1.097 trillion has been allocated for the government infrastructure projects next year under the 2018 P3.7-trillion national budget. It is 29.5 percent, or P249.8 billion, higher than the 2017 national budget’s allocation for public infrastructure.

According to Lopez, the investment-registration figure is a clear indication of the continued confidence of domestic and foreign investors in the country’s sound economic policies and attractive business environment.

The Department of Trade and Industry also said the increase on committed investments can also be credited on start of implementation of the 2017 Investment Priorities Plan.

During the same hearing, Lopez also said exports have reached positive double-digit growth rates, from negative last year.

“Another bright point is the exports, which now posted 16.3- percent growth from January to May 2017, which is a turnaround coming from negative performance in 2016, so we are trending positive double-digit growth rates for exports,” the trade secretary told lawmakers.