Investment inflows seen to pick up in H2
The Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) on Wednesday said its members were expecting growth in foreign direct investments flow into the Philippines in the second half of 2015 following the release of data that showed a decline in the first half.
Still, the JFC called for support from “major presidential candidates” for policies that would help increase foreign investor confidence in the Philippines.
These include “the modernization of infrastructure, and proposals to open the domestic economy to foreign businesses including the mining industry, reduce business costs and unburden the private sector of red tape and corruption,” the JFC said.
The JFC groups the American, Australian-New Zealand, Canadian, European, Japanese, Korean chambers and the Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Headquarters Inc.
Data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas show that net FDI inflow for the first semester fell 40 percent year-on-year to $2 billion.
Also, figures from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) show that new investment approvals in the six months to June plunged 25 percent to $1.8 billion, covering both greenfield and expansion projects.
However, statistics for the nine months to September showed no significant difference at $3.1 billion in 2015 vis-a-vis $3.2 billion in 2014.
Further, first semester data from the Board of Investments showed a 16-percent jump in FDI approvals to $298 million.
The JFC said it was hopeful that the first-half downturn was temporary and that the second half would see higher FDI levels that would bring the full year number close to that of 2014.
“We understand that local managers of existing investor projects have gradually been able to restore the confidence of their headquarters now that the congestion issue has been resolved,” the group said.
“Thus, more expansion projects by existing Peza investors are expected in the second half of 2015 and hopefully new projects under consideration will also move forward,” it added.
To shore up investor confidence, the JFC called for the passage of proposed laws such as those that sought to amend the Apprenticeship Act, BOT Act, Foreign Investment Negative List and Right-of-Way law.
The JFC also wishes for the passage of the Customs Modernization and Tariffs Act, creation of a Department of Information and Communications Technology and Freedom of Information Act.
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