Investment pledges jumped 46.5 percent in the first four months to P286.7 billion from P195.7 billion a year ago on the back of a significant increase in foreign projects, the Board of Investments said over the weekend.
Commitments from foreign investors jumped 2,224 percent or 22 times in January to April to P66.9 billion from P2.9 billion in the same period last year.
Investments from domestic sources also grew 14 percent in the four-month period to P219.7 billion from P192.8 billion a year earlier.
Singapore emerged as the biggest source of foreign investment commitments with P35.4 billion in the first four months, up from P38.7 million a year ago.
The Netherlands ranked second with P9.1 billion while Thailand was third with P8.5 billion. Japan with P5.5-billion in investment pledges and the United States with P2.2 billion rounded up the top five.
“Foreign investors remain confident in the country’s business prospects as foreign capital continue to surge in the country while domestic investors remain upbeat as domestic capital continued its steady growth,” said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.
“With the Philippines’ recent credit rating upgrade from S&P Global, even the Asian Development Bank now foresees that the Philippines as the second fastest-growing economy in Southeast Asia,” Lopez said.
S&P Global on April 30 upgraded the Philippines’ credit rating to ‘BBB+’ or two notches above investment grade. It is the country’s highest debt score on record.
The country’s gross domestic product grew 6.2 percent in 2018, becoming the third fastest growing major economy in Asia behind China and Vietnam.
Data from the BoI showed that power projects remained the biggest investments with P185.4 billion in approvals in the first four months, up by 78 percent from P104.3 billion in the same period last year.
“With the government’s commitment to ‘clean and green’ infrastructure systems, successive renewable power projects were approved by the BoI,” said Trade Undersecretary and BoI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo.
Manufacturing investments also surged 181 percent in the period to P44.6 billion from P15.9 billion in 2018.
The information and communication sector posted an investment growth of 9,669 percent to P33.2 billion from a P340 million a year ago while investments in the accommodation and food service sector grew 733 percent to P8.4 billion from P1 billion in 2018.
The biggest approval in April was the P35.2-billion 506-megawatt natural gas power plant of Vires Energy Corp. in Batangas City.
Rodolfo said the approved projects underwent due diligence and endorsements by the Energy and Environment departments.
Calabarzon or Region IVA got the lion’s share of investment commitments with P198 billion in the four-month period. Central Luzon followed with P26.7 billion while the National Capital Region ranked third with P7.9 billion.
Central Visayas received P5.7 billion while Cagayan Valley had P4.3 billion.