Manila, Philippines – Foreign investment pledges posted a double-digit decline in 2017, the country’s statistics agency reported Thursday.
Committed foreign investments amounted to P21.6 billion in the last quarter of 2017, slipping 82.8 percent from P125.7 billion booked in the same period in 2016, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
That brought the full-year tally to P105.6 billion, 51.8 percent lower than the P219 billion posted in 2016.
The PSA’s data were based on commitments approved by seven investment promotion agencies, namely: Board of Investments; Clark Development Corporation; Philippine Economic Zone Authority; Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority; Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan; BOI-Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao; and Cagayan Economic Zone Authority.
IPAs are government agencies that by law are authorized to grant tax and non-tax incentives to investors putting up businesses or expanding existing ones in priority sectors.
The PSA said the top three prospective investing countries for the fourth quarter of 2017 were Japan, the US and Singapore. Meanwhile, the manufacturing sector is expected to receive the largest amount of foreign commitments at P8.3 billion.
“Total projects of foreign and Filipino investors approved by the seven IPAs for the fourth quarter of 2017 are expected to generate 29,813 jobs,” the PSA said.
“Out of the total anticipated jobs for the period, 64.1 percent would come from projects with foreign interest,” it added.
Actual net FDI inflows, tracked separately by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, jumped 20 percent to $8.7 billion from January to November last year, exceeding the full-year 2017 target of $8 billion.
“The sustained FDI inflows reflected investor confidence given the Philippine economy’s solid macroeconomic fundamentals and growth prospects,” the central bank said.