MANILA – The Board of Investments registered P368.9 billion investments for 2011, up by 22 percent from the P302 billion the previous year.
Last year's investment number was also 35 percent higher in terms of number of projects approved. The figure also reflects economic optimism earlier expressed by Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo towards a better year in 2012, noting that the country has moved forward from the global incidents and its challenges in 2011. Investment commitments breached the year’s target with a total of 332 projects compared to 246 in 2010.
These projects are expected to boost employment opportunities by 67,211 jobs once operational, almost double last year’s 36,751 jobs.
“These figures represent a renewed confidence in the reforms instituted by the present administration and in our country’s strong macroeconomic fundamentals. We are committed to sustaining and increasing investments in the next few years with a sharper focus on developing industry roadmaps,” Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Adrian Cristobal Jr., said.
Overall business sentiment improved in the fourth quarter, according to a report from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Macroeconomic indicators likewise remained stable with inflation at 4.8 percent level; stable peso-dollar exchange rates, and gross domestic product remained at positive level, although slightly weakened by slow exports demand. In 2011, local investments saw an unprecedented growth level at P345.696 billion, while commitments from foreign investors amounted to P23.235 billion.
“Remarkable growth in investments came from local businesses, generated by a larger demand from the domestic market. Their increased stake in the economy reinforces overall investor confidence which will attract more local and foreign infusions,” Cristobal added.
Top performing sectors that generated majority of the investments in 2011 were low cost mass housing, P72.688 billion with net value added of 85 percent to 99 percent, including raw materials such as bathroom and kitchen fixtures as well as elevators and generators. Other high performing sectors in terms of investments were energy, with total approved investments of P87.785 billion; and mining, P63.286 billion. Other key investment commitments for the period were tourism projects, P10.832 billion; and agriculture, P1.917 billion.
“We want to balance this portfolio by attracting more investments in agriculture and tourism in line with the Philippine Investments Priorities Plan,” Cristobal said. Under the BOI’s IPP 2011, priority sectors include agriculture, tourism, ship building, mass housing, energy, infrastructure, research & development, motor vehicles, green projects, creative industries, disaster prevention; and public-private partnership.
The biggest chunk of investments for the year went to Central Luzon at 22 percent generating P82.851 billion. The others were in the National Capital Region, 20 percent; Region 4 (Southern Luzon), 13 percent; Region 13 (Caraga), 13 percent; and Region 11 (Southern Mindanao), 10 percent.
Foreign investment projects approved came mostly from Japan, P6.059 billion; followed by the Netherlands, South Korea, United States and China. The growth in investment projects approved for the manufacturing sector amounting to P104.758 billion showed a significant increase of 122 percent from last year’s P47.178 billion. Investment projects include those in petroleum products, basic metals, motor vehicles, non-metallic mineral products and food products.*PNA