MANILA, Philippines – It was reported by the Board of Investments (BOI) that investment sum starting January to February 2018 rose by 402 percent amounting to 131.6 billion pesos from 26 billion pesos during January to February of 2017.
Ramon Lopez, trade secretary and chairman of the Board of Investments, is pleased with this year so far. Registration of investments is 400 percent higher compared to the previous years. Furthermore, around 20 percent of the whole year goal of 680 billion pesos has already been achieved.
The progress slowed a little from the rapid pace of 538 percent during January but is still outstanding.
Lopez explained that it’s driven by the local players indicating their trust in the economy and confidence on the amendments executed under President Rodrigo Duterte’s management.
As regards foreign investments, he said that the country is receiving a lot of inquiries from various countries. Some of these are cement, steel, iron, and shipbuilding in which both China and Japan are interested, water treatment facilities from Hungary, and technology solutions generally from the European Union as well as from Japan. These are some countries looking to invest in the Philippines and are in different periods of feasibility research.
Last year’s foreign investments surpassed the 8 billion dollar goal for 2017 in only 11 months. There were, however, various concerns in June when investments decreased by 40 percent compared to the previous years.
During 2017, the BOI listed the highest recorded committed investments worth 617 million pesos. BOI mentioned that this included 426 projects from which 76,065 occupations will be generated upon complete operation.
As for this year, it will be more favorable following the US survey of 6,000 decision makers in the field of business globally, as they labeled the Philippines as the foremost country to place your investment for 2018.
Lopez said that it’s a pleasant surprise for the country to be on the top in regard to the interest of foreign investors.
On the other hand, there are problems that can prevent interest of investors including incentive rationalization and TRAIN Package 2 just as it was pointed out last February by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP).
It was also reported that the air conditioner manufacturer from Japan, Daikin Industries Limited, decided not to establish a production center in the Philippines due to some uncertainties.
Lopez assured that the Department of Trade and Industry will examine the notion to explain the changes better as well as to persuade the doubters by issuing forms, getting rid of biases, as well as updating incentives as they include further applicable incentives, such as income holiday tax, accelerated depreciation, and deductions on research and development and training.
He noted, however, that the TRAIN Package 2 still needs to go through a lengthy path for the Congress’s approval. In spite that, he expects the law to be passed within 2018.