Foreign investment commitments approved by investment promotion agencies (IPAs) in the fourth quarter of last year shrank by nearly half compared to the previous year, indicating that the government’s investment attraction efforts may still need a lot of work.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said that approved foreign investments in the fourth quarter last year amounted to P132.0 billion, 42.7 percent lower than P230.2 billion investment commitments in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Meanwhile, total approved foreign investments (FI) for the full year reached P274 billion, down 5.4 percent from the P289.5 billion of pledges recorded in 2012.
Foreign and Filipino ventures approved by the seven IPAs during the fourth quarter are expected to create 46,997 jobs, 4 percent more than the previous year’s projected creation of 45,198 jobs. Of the anticipated employment, 82.1 percent or 38,567 jobs would come from projects with foreign interest, the PSA said.
The seven IPAs are the Board of Investments (BOI), Clark Development Corporation (CDC), the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), as well as the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB), the Board of Investments-Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BOI-ARMM), and the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA).
The PSA said the British Virgin Islands was the top source of approved FI in the fourth quarter as it contributed 35 percent or P46.1 billion of the total foreign investment commitments.
Japan and the Netherlands occupied the second and third places, respectively. Japan pledged P29.4 billion or 22.3 percent and the Netherlands committed P14.4 billion or 10.9 percent of the total approved FI during the quarter.
Projects in the transportation and storage sector garnered the largest amount of FI pledges for fourth quarter as it stood to receive P53.1 billion or 40.2 percent of the total FI committed.
Manufacturing came in second with investment pledges valued at P51.7 billion, accounting for 39.2 percent, followed by administrative and support service activities with P14.5 billion pledged or an 11.0 percent share.
Approved investments of foreign and Filipino nationals in the fourth quarter totaled P235.7 billion, 28.6 percent lower than the P330.1 billion posted in the same period of the previous year.
Meanwhile, pledges from Filipino nationals stood at P103.7 billion, which accounted for 44 percent of the total approved investments during the quarter.