• Foreign investment pledges down 55%

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    Foreign investment approvals fell by more than 50 percent in the second quarter, the government reported on Friday, with all but one of six agencies reporting year on year declines.

    Data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that six out of seven monitored investment promotion agencies (IPAs) had approved just P18.16 billion in foreign pledges, down 55 percent from P40.39 billion a year earlier.

    Year-on-year declines were recorded by the Board of Investments (P3.57 billion, down 83.3 percent), Clark Development Corp. (P441 million, -40.5 percent), Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (P21 million, -73.6 percent), Philippine Economic Zone Authority (P13.7 billion, -2.5 percent), and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (P62.4 million, -98.4 percent).

    The only gainer was the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan, which posted 258.2 percent growth to P279.2 million.

    The BOI-Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao had no record of investment approvals for the three-month period.

    The PSA said Japan was the top prospective investing country during the quarter, with P4.8-billion worth of commitments or 26.4 percent of total foreign investment pledges.

    Singapore and the United States were second and third respectively, pledging P2.4 billion or 13 percent and P2 billion or 11 percent.

    The largest share of pledges, or P6.7 billion, was for the manufacturing sector, followed by administrative and support services (P4.1 billion) and real estate (P3.8 billion).

    In terms of location, the National Capital Region had the largest share of P5.1 billion, closely followed by Calabarzon with P5 billion.

    For the first half of the year, total approved foreign investments, fell 38 percent to P41.04 billion from P66.63 billion in 2016.

    Total investment pledges, combining those from Filipino nationals and from foreign investors, showed positive 29.7 percent growth in the second quarter to P230.45 billion from P177.68 billion in the year-ago period.

    Filipino nationals accounted for 92.1 percent of the total at P212.3 billion.

    Foreign and Filipino ventures approved by the IPAs are expected to generate 95,131 jobs, the PSA said. The bulk of 76.2 percent will come from projects with foreign interest, it added.

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