BSP sees PH posting record high FDIs in 2017
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas yesterday expressed confidence the record-high foreign direct investment target of $8 billion would be met in 2017 even as investment inflows were lower than year-ago levels as of July.
“The BSP expects the Philippines to sustain FDI inflows this year, close to the $8-billion level in 2016. These prospective FDIs are expected to be channeled mainly to the manufacturing sector (such as electronics and motor parts), which can help create employment and more growth opportunities,” the BSP said in a statement.
“There is a huge potential in attracting further FDIs, which can put the country at par with the large levels of FDIs seen in neighboring Asian countries. Such potential can be realized by reforming the rules on foreign ownership, addressing infrastructure gaps, and reducing the cost of doing business,” the BSP added.
“Addressing these challenges will require considerable support from the government. For the BSP, among the measures taken to promote a more supportive environment for higher foreign investments have been the liberalization of foreign bank entry in the country (Republic Act No. 10641 or the Foreign Bank Liberalization Act passed in July 2014) and the phased-in liberalization of the foreign exchange regulatory framework that started in 2007,” it said.
According to the BSP, the prospects for inward flows of FDIs into the country were still favorable “as both ’push’ (subdued global economic growth) and “pull’ (sustained robust macroeconomic performance and investment grade status) factors remain.”
For this year, the BSP expects FDI inflows to reach the $8-billion mark after it had jacked up its 2017 forecast from $7 billion previously. FDI hit a record $7.933 billion in 2016.
The latest BSP data, however, showed that the net inflow of FDIs from January to July declined by 16.5 percent to $3.904 billion from $4.677 billion last year.
The year-on-year drop in seven-month FDIs had been attributed by the BSP to lower inflows of net equity capital—at $272 million, down from last year’s $1.5 billion.
Still, “investment in debt instruments and reinvestment of earnings remain on an uptrend as they reached $3.1 billion and $487 million, respectively, for January to July 2017,” the BSP said.
It noted that “there has lately been heightened interest surrounding recent developments in FDI, particularly the decline observed in the first half of 2017,” referring to the recent statement of Sen. Franklin Drilon noting a 90-percent drop in “new” FDIs.
As reported by the BSP, FDIs registered net inflows of $3.6 billion in January to June 2017, 14-percent lower than the $4.2-billion posted in the same period last year. The lower net inflows were blamed on the 90.3-percent drop in net equity capital to $141 million from $1.4 billion a year ago.
Data showed that the significant inflow noted last year was attributed to a large investment flow that went to the financial and insurance industry.
“The decline in net equity capital was, however, offset in part by higher investments in debt instruments and reinvestment of earnings amounting to $3 billion and $416 million, respectively,” the BSP said.
The BSP said the overall FDI picture was not being reflected by the decline in net equity capital, which Drilon had highlighted.
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