THE Board of Investments (BOI) is confident that it can surpass last year’s investment approvals after it gave its nod to P644.4 billion worth of projects as of November 15.
In a statement on Monday, the Department of Trade and Industry said as of November 15,2022, the BOI has approved a total of P644.4 billion, which it said was 73.51 percent higher than the P371.4-billion approved investments during the same period last year.
Of the total amount, the BOI said 81 percent or P518.3 billion accounted for domestic investments, while 19 percent or P126.1 billion came from foreign sources.
As to the breakdown of investments per sector, the attached agency of the Trade department revealed that the highest investment was committed to the power sector at P343.8 billion. This was followed by Information and Communication with P197 billion; Administrative and Support Services activities with P26.8 billion; Transportation and Storage with P25.2 billion; and Real Estate with P23.8 billion.
In terms of origin of investments, the BOI said Singapore is considered the “biggest country source” of BOI-approved foreign investments, with P75.3 billion. The agency said Japan came in next with P29.9 billion; followed by the United Kingdom (UK) with P9.9 billion, British Virgin Islands with P2.6 billion; and Real Estate with P23.8 billion.
The BOI also revealed that with P644.4 billion in approved investments to date, it has reached only 64.4 percent of its internal target of P1 trillion.
For his part, Trade Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo told reporters at a media briefing in Pasay City on Monday that while the P1-trillion target is no longer attainable for this year, the BOI will surpass its P655-billion performance in 2021.
“Unfortunately, from January to November, our total is P644 billion. So what is certain is that we will surpass our 2021. Pero ‘yung P1 trillion there are investment leads, big investment targets that are still finalizing their decision. Next year na sila papasok [They will come in next year]. So I don’t think that we will hit the P1 trillion but definitely we will surpass our P655-billion performance last year,” Rodolfo said.
He pointed to the conflict in Eastern Europe, which he said is an unforeseen circumstance in the global arena that eventually played a role in the failure to reach the investment target.
“We didn’t foresee a Russia-Ukraine war that will have an impact not just on investments going to the Philippines, but also a global impact; so [the data really plunged], but still it’s a good news that we will be able to surpass 2021.”
Despite the global headwinds, the Trade undersecretary, who is also the Managing Head of the BOI, said there are big-ticket projects that they foresee for 2023.
These big investments will be on green metals and renewable energy, among others, he added.
The BOI also has estimated investment leads amounting to P372.8 billion for 2023.
“These are mainly from the IT-BPM [P125.3 billion], real estate activities [P105.47 billion], and agriculture, forestry, and fisheries [P66.90 billion],” the BOI said.
The BOI remains optimistic that foreign investments in 2023 will show “significant growth” given the “game-changing” economic reforms enacted in the Philippines such as the Department Circular (DC) No. 2022-11-0034-amending Section 19 of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, the Amended Public Service Act, the amended Foreign Investments Act and the amended Retail Trade Liberalization Act.
DC No. 2022-11-0034 seeks to open the country’s renewable sector to 100 percent foreign ownership, primarily for installations in the wind and solar investment space. Further, the BOI said it will pave the way for foreign citizens or foreign-owned entities to explore, develop, and utilize the country’s renewable energy resources such as solar, wind, biomass, ocean, or tidal energy.
Image credits: Nonie Reyes