PH drops to 10th place as top host for multinationals

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Still a favored recipient of fdi

The Philippines remains a promising host country for multinational enterprises (MNEs) for 2017 to 2019, according to a United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) report.

DESPITE dropping to 10th place from ninth in the latest Unctad investment report as a favored host to multinational enterprises (MNEs), the Philippines remains as the third largest recipient of foreign direct investment in Southeast Asia.

According to Unctad’s “World Investment Report 2017” released Thursday, “top executives maintain their confidence in developing Asia’s economic performance and are also forecasting investments in the south-eastern part of the region, with Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam and Singapore, in that order, still figuring among the most promising host countries.”


The report showed that the Philippines landed in 10th place among the top prospective host economies for 2017-2019, dropping from ninth last year, and trailing behind the United States, China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil, United Kingdom, Germany and Mexico.

Despite the drop in ranking, Unctad noted the Philippines is the third largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in Southeast Asia—increasing by more than 60 percent to a new high of $8 billion in 2016.

The positive developments in the Philippines include the launching of the “Project Repeal: The Philippine Red Tape Challenge” to clean up regulations by revoking provisions that are no longer necessary or that may be detrimental to the economy. The Philippines also allowed 100 percent ownership in insurance adjustment companies.

FDI inflows to developing Asia are expected to increase by about 15 percent in 2017, as an improved economic outlook in major Asian economies is likely to boost investor confidence in the region.

“In South and South-East Asia, several countries, including Bangladesh, Nepal and the Philippines, are expected to receive more FDI in years to come, especially from within the region, in line with a division of labor between more developed countries (increasingly focusing on goods with higher value added) and less developed countries (increasingly focusing on labor-intensive activities),” the report said.

“This may continue to strengthen these countries’ positions in regional production networks. For instance, five Chinese companies plan to invest $10 billion in the aviation, downstream oil, renewable energy, iron and steel, and shipbuilding industries in the Philippines,” it added.

Globally, FDI flows are projected to increase by about 5 percent to almost $1.8 trillion this year and to reach $1.85 trillion by 2018.

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