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BoI reports investments up by 33%

Investment pledges climbed 33 percent in the first nine months to P381.17 billion from P286.44 billion a year ago, the Board of the Investments said Tuesday.

Trade Secretary and BoI chairman Ramon Lopez said the amount represented about 76 percent of the agency’s investment target of P500 billion for 2017.

“In conjunction with our 50th anniversary, we’ve come up with an ambitious investment target of P500 billion by the end of this year, or ‘P500 billion for BOI@50’,” Lopez said Monday night during the 2017 Guinogolan Awards at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

Data showed despite the significant growth, foreign investments slid 74.82 percent in January to September to P12.48 billion from P49.59 billion a year earlier.

Domestic investments, however, continued to dominate investment pledges with a growth of 55.66 percent to P368.68 billion.

Expected employment generation from 324 projects increased to 64,563 from 46,716 workers from 255 projects a year ago.

Lopez said for the past five years, BoI’s average annual investment approval reached P398 billion.

“What’s exciting is that we expect to exceed our target with local and foreign investors keenly exploring opportunities in energy, infrastructure and agribusiness,” he said.

The Trade Department said investors were banking on the Philippines’ strong macroeconomic fundamentals, demographic sweet spot, market access in Asean, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, Generalized System of Preferences  and GSP+ and construction boom as a result of the Duterte administration’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure program.

“Moreover, to sustain this boom, investors are looking at the energy requirements to ensure the infrastructure program’s success All of these investment projects were studied in-depth by our BoI project evaluation teams,” Lopez said.

BoI said in the last 50 years, registered investments generated around 2,116,257 quality jobs for the Filipino people.

“We make sure the projects [we approve] are of national interest and make responsible use of the country’s resources. We would also like to report that BoI doesn’t just serve big companies, but also micro, small, and medium enterprises,” Lopez said.(O.V. Campos, MS)