MANILA Senator Loren Legarda on Tuesday lauded the increase in foreign direct investments (FDIs) to the Philippines in 2017, saying it is proof of the sound economic policies instituted by the Duterte administration.
"We continue to see the positive effect of the administration's sound economic policies in our growth statistics. More investments in the country would also translate to more jobs for our people," Legarda said.
The chair of the Senate finance committee made the statement following a report by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas that FDI net inflows reached a record high of USD10 billion in 2017, up by 21.4 percent from last year.
According to the central bank, all major FDI components registered increases during the year.
In particular, net equity capital investments expanded by 25.9 percent to USD3.3 billion, with gross placements of USD3.7 billion exceeding withdrawals of USD479 million.
Equity capital placements originated largely from the Netherlands, Singapore, the United States, Japan, and Hong Kong.
By economic activity, equity capital placements were channeled mainly to gas, steam and air-conditioning supply; manufacturing; real estate; construction; and wholesale and retail trade activities.
Last week, Legarda cited a report on the website of Business Insider, which ranked the Philippines first among the "The 20 best countries to invest in now".
She also cited statistics from the Department of Trade and Industry's Board of Investments (BOI), which showed that committed investments in the country increased to 39.5 percent in 2017 compared to the 2016 figure.
In 2017, the BOI posted an all-time high of PHP617 billion in committed investments, comprising 426 projects that are expected to generate some 76,065 jobs upon full operations.
As to foreign investment projects registered with the BOI, Japan is the number one source for 2017 with PHP8.86 billion, mainly in green ship recycling, chemicals, and glass manufacturing, among others.
This was followed by Singapore with PHP3.497 billion, Australia with PHP1.996 billion, British Virgin Islands with PHP1.084 billion all in renewable energy and The Netherlands with PHP1.074 billion in manufacturing.
Meanwhile, in the first two months of 2018, there has been a 402.3 percent increase in approved investment projects compared to the same period in 2017.
BOI reported that it approved PHP131.6-billion worth of investment projects in January to February 2018 as contrasted to the investment registration performance in January to February 2017, which was at PHP26 billion.
Legarda urged the government to ensure that growing investments would not only result in a more robust economy but should also benefit all Filipinos.
"All these statistics bring us hope for a better future for our nation. But this would only happen if we are able to bring progress down to our communities, to the farthest barangays in the country, to our most needy and vulnerable citizens, she said.
All these investments should translate to actual actions, projects, and programs that will truly impact the poorest of our poor," Legarda said.
Source: Philippine News Agency