MANILA – Approved foreign investment (FI) commitments surged 69.3 percent to P179 billion in 2018 from P105.7 billion the previous year, as the country’s strong economic fundamentals continued to attract investors from beyond Philippine shores.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that total approved foreign investments also increased by a whopping 322 percent in the fourth quarter last year to P91.2 billion from P21.6 billion during the same period in 2017.
China committed P48 billion, or 52.6 percent of the total approved investments during the quarter.
Singapore and Japan pledged P15.3 billion and P4.8 billion, or 16.7 percent and 5.2 percent of the total approved foreign investments, respectively.
Socioeconomic Planning secretary Ernesto Pernia said some firms are shifting from China, the United States, and United Kingdom to the Philippines.
“(The) Philippines has been touted in international media as among top investment destinations, given strong fundamentals and growth, decisive leadership, BBB (‘Build, Build, Build) program, many reforms in place,” he said in a text message to reporters.
“(Higher foreign investment pledges) also shows TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion) 2 incentives rationalization not a turn-off (for investors),” he added.
The second package of the tax reform package seeks to lower corporate income tax rates and rationalize fiscal investment incentives.
The PSA further said that manufacturing would receive the largest amount of foreign investments approved in the last quarter of 2018 with P58.8 billion, or a 64.5-percent share.
By region, majority of the approved foreign investments in the fourth quarter of 2018 would be intended to finance projects in the Northern Mindanao region, amounting to P47.5 billion, or 52.1 percent.
The Calabarzon region, comprising Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon, would receive the second highest amount at P20.3 billion, representing 22.3 percent. This was followed by the National Capital Region at P13.1 billion or 14.3 percent. (PNA)