Q1 foreign investment pledges jump 19.2%

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Investment pledges by foreign investors in the Philippines rose 19.2 percent in the first quarter of 2016 from a year earlier, with pledges gathered by the Board of Investments (BOI) offsetting the negative performance of other Investment Promotion Agencies (IPA).

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Data from the Philippine Statistics Office (PSA) released Friday showed foreign investments (FI) approved by the seven IPAs in January to March increased to P26 billion from P21.8 billion in the corresponding 2015 period.

Foreign investment commitments consist of pledges in equity, loans and reinvested earnings.

Approvals came from BOI, Clark Development Corporation (CDC), Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB), BOI-Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BOI-ARMM), and Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA).

Filipino and foreign
Total investment pledges, combining those from Filipino nationals with those from foreign investors, showed a meager growth of 3.1 percent in the first quarter reaching P99.5 billion from P96.5 billion in the year-ago period.

Filipino nationals accounted for 73.9 percent of the total approved investment commitments in the first quarter, pledging P73.5 billion.

Foreign and Filipino ventures approved by the IPAs in the first quarter of 2016 are expected to generate 59,324 jobs, up by 31.3 percent from the previous year’s projected employment, the PSA said.

Of the expected jobs, 89.6 percent would come from projects with foreign interest, it said.

Origin of pledges
The Netherlands was the top prospective investing country during the first quarter with a pledge of P8.1 billion, accounting for 31 percent of the total.

Japan and United States occupied the second and third ranks, pledging P4.4 billion or 16.8 percent and P3.7 billion or 14.3 percent, respectively, of the total FI approved in the first quarter of 2016.

Top pledges through govt agencies
According to the latest data, significant pledges in the first quarter were made through the BOI.

BOI registered the highest FI commitments, amounting to P8.44 billion in the quarter, 255 percent higher than the P2.37 billion pledged in the comparable quarter last year.

Investment pledges through the PEZA were valued at P15.81 billion, 9.6 percent higher than P14.42 billion in the same period last year.

Commitments through other IPAS, meanwhile, showed flat to negative growth during the period.

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