BOI investment commitments in Jan ’12 – up by 14.6%

Total investments committed in the Board of Investments (BOI) for the month of January grew by 14.6% to P3.74B compared to P3.26B in the same period last year, showing increased investor confidence at the start of the year.

The 18 projects approved are expected to generate 3,026 jobs once operational.

Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory L. Domingo said investment commitments for the month of January show dispersion of investments in the countryside and among key sectors, signaling that economic activities in the country are becoming more widespread.

“We see strategic investments specifically in the sectors of tourism, energy, and agriculture  – priority areas that the government has identified to boost income and value-added as well as create more jobs in the rural areas,” Secretary Domingo said.

Region 3 accounted for 38.18% of total investments, generating P1.42B; Region 10, 18.8%; and Region 7, 17.37%.

“Manufacturing will continue to be a critical driver of our  economy, accounting for 24% of our GDP in 2011. This sector, together with tourism, agriculture, and construction create important multiplier effect in generating jobs and in reducing poverty,” said Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Adrian S. Cristobal Jr.

Investments in the manufacturing sector for January amounted to P496M or 13% of total investments approved. This was led by investments in motor vehicles manufacturing amounting to P368.4M.

Big-ticket tourism related projects were approved in Dumaguete and Cagayan de Oro. “The tourism accommodation facility projects could spur economic growth for the region,” said Undersecretary Cristobal.

Meanwhile, the geothermal project approved in Camarines Sur is also beneficial in the long-term to help lower electricity costs and reduce dependency on traditional energy sources.

“The agriculture related investments particularly for banana exports validate our core strategy in the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP). We are gradually lessening our dependence on electronics. This highlights the importance of diversification to sustain long-term growth,” Undersecretary Cristobal added.

Ninety-two percent of investment commitments came from domestic investors. Among foreign investors, Japan ranked highest at P190.4M following the gradual strengthening of its economy and the mid-term impact of brisk trade under the Philippine Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (PJEPA). New investments from Japan were on motor vehicle manufacturing possibly brought about by the supply chain disruptions in Thailand.

Among the top investors for the month next to Japan are China, Australia, Malaysia, and Russia.

Leading investment projects approved were on real estate, P1.76B followed by accommodation and food service, P875M; manufacturing, P496.4M; electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply, P340.3M; and agriculture, P228M. Manufacturing investments are led by motor vehicles at P368.4M.

The biggest project approved for the period was on low cost mass housing project of Fiesta Communities, Inc. amounting to P1.40B. This was followed by the tourism facility project of Northgate Hotel Ventures, Inc. amounting to P680M; Cavendish banana production for exports of Anflo Banana Corp., P216M; and tourism facility by Robinsons Land Corp., P195M.

Under the BOI’s Investments Priorities Plan 2011, priority sectors include agriculture, tourism, ship building, mass housing, energy, infrastructure, research & development, motor vehicles, green projects, creative industries, disaster prevention; and public-private partnership.

The DTI is working closely with the private sector through the National

Competitiveness Council (NCC), Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI), BOI investment commitments in Jan ’12 – up by 14.6% 3

Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), and the Joint Foreign Chamber in developing industry competitiveness roadmaps as well as policy strategies for inclusive growth.

Meanwhile, economic forecasts for the country’s GDP are on high note at 5%-7% level for 2012 amid weaknesses in Europe and United States markets. This was echoed by the latest Moody’s Investors Service Report which classified the Philippines as among the countries in the Asia Pacific to have the least exposure to the current Euro debt crisis. (End)