FDI forecast raised to $8B for 2017

THE resurgent global economy and sustained domestic expansion are seen to push foreign direct investments (FDI) some $1 billion higher than originally projected for the year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said on Monday.

According to the BSP, FDI—the kind of investments the government prefers because they stay for the long haul—are now estimated to aggregate $8 billion this year, higher than the earlier forecast of $7 billion.

“This is [due to] the recovery of the manufacturing sector and sustained growth in the services sectors, as well as the implementation of the PPP [public-private partnership] projects awarded in previous periods,” said Zeno Abenoja, director at the Department of Economic Research at the BSP. “This is also in line with the expected improvement in global economic conditions relative to 2016. So the push and  pull conditions are seen to be favorable in terms of the FDI inflows,”
he added.

Latest data from the Central Bank showed FDI aggregating $509 million in March, up 30.6 percent from $390 million in the comparable period last year. This pushed first quarter FDI to $1.6 billion, 16.6 percent higher than the $1.3 billion in the same period last year.

The expected surge in FDI in the coming months is seen to benefit the following sectors: manufacturing, particularly electronic and motor parts; utilities, including the renewable energy and water works; real estate; entertainment; financial and insurance; and wholesale and retail trade.

“These are based on the 2017 Investment Priorities Plan, as well as approved foreign investments provided by various investment-promotion agencies,” Abenoja said.

In 2016 the country attracted $7.93 billion in FDI, up 40.7 percent from the 2015 level and significantly higher than the $6.7-billion forecast for that year.

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Bianca Cuaresma graduated cum laude from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) with a degree in AB Journalism. She was with the BusinessMirror during her internship in 2012 where she was assigned at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) beat. She continued to be of service to the paper after she graduated in 2013. In 2014, she was awarded as the Reporter of the Year by the paper for her coverage in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). She is a BusinessMirror reporter for 3 years now, and has covered general assignments and agencies related to banking and finance in the country.