Foreign investment pledges up 19.2% in first quarter
Foreign-led projects granted tax and other perks by seven of the country’s investment promotion agencies (IPAs) jumped by almost a fifth to P26 billion in the first quarter, indicating sustained confidence in the economy ahead of the May elections.
Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data showed that the amount of foreign investments approved for registration during the first three months grew by 19.2 percent from P21.8 billion a year ago.
The PSA report reflected approvals made between January and March by the following IPAs: Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (Afab), Board of Investments (BOI), Board of Investments-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (Ceza), Clark Development Corp. (CDC), Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza), and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA). IPAs extend fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to investors.
The first-quarter foreign investment commitments with the BOI and Peza rose 255.2 percent and 9.6 percent, respectively, while Afab, CDC, Ceza and SBMA posted year-on-year declines.
The manufacturing sector was the top recipient of foreign investment pledges in the first three months, with P9.6 billion accounting for 36.8 percent of the total.
Upcoming projects involving electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning supply amounted P6.6 billion, while commitments for administrative and support service activities reached P5.4 billion.
The top three sources of first-quarter foreign investment pledges were the Netherlands (P8.1-billion worth of projects), Japan (P4.4 billion) and the United States (P3.7 billion).
Total investment commitments, including those made by local firms, increased by a slower 3.1 percent to P99.5 billion from P96.5 billion in the first quarter of last year.
Approved Filipino-led projects reached P73.5 billion, almost three-fourths of the total.
The first-quarter investment approvals would create 59,324 jobs, up by almost a third year-on-year, with the bulk or 53,159 to generated by foreign-led projects.
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