BoI expects P1-T investment goal to be 80-90% filled by midyear

By Revin Mikhael D. Ochave| BusinessWorld
February 19, 2023


TRADE Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual expects the Board of Investments (BoI) to hit its P1-trillion investment target for 2023 following “serious interest” from foreign investors.

“With investment prospects being very positive, and as we continue to receive serious interest from global investors, we are definitely on track to meeting our annual investment target of P1 trillion. We are not even through with the second month of the year and we already have secured nearly half of our full-year target for investment approvals,” Mr. Pascual said in a statement.

The BoI is an investment promotion agency (IPA) of the Department of Trade and Industry.

Mr. Pascual, who chairs the BoI, was commenting after the BoI reported P414.3 billion worth of approved investments as of Feb. 9, equivalent to a 142.9% increase year on year.

Mr. Pascual said the BoI could hit 80% to 90% of the target before the middle of the year as the IPA is still following up on other investment leads.

“So far, the agency still has potential investment leads of around P344 billion that have yet to be processed,” Mr. Pascual said.

“The increase in investments proves that the government’s promotional visits abroad led by no less than the President himself, are working as a growing number of investors from around the globe, from Southeast Asia, the US, Belgium, China, and most recently Japan, have shown strong interest in putting in more investments into the country,” he added.

Last year, the BoI recorded P729 billion worth of approved investments, up 11%.

The BoI accounted for 76% of the P927 billion worth of total IPA foreign and domestic approved investments in 2022.

Mr. Pascual said BoI foreign investment approvals as of Feb. 9 amounted to P163 billion. Investments from Germany accounted for P157 billion, followed by the Netherlands with P2.7 billion, Japan P524 million, the US P509 million, and the UK P194 million.

“BoI-approved foreign capital for barely the first months of 2023 has already reached 56% of the total figure for all IPAs last year. So, this year looks very promising with heightened prospects and through our collective efforts, we are on course to surpass the 2022 figure way ahead of time,” Mr. Pascual said.

The BoI said the Western Visayas led the regions in investment as of Feb. 9 with P293.3 billion, followed by Calabarzon with P111.7 billion, Eastern Visayas P3.5 billion, Central Luzon P3 billion, and the National Capital Region P783 million.

The renewable energy sector had the biggest share of investment approvals at P398.7 billion, up 138%.

One of the top projects approved in January was the P392-billion investment in offshore wind farms by German-owned wpd Philippines, Inc. in Cavite, Negros Occidental, and Guimaras.

“We aim to be a global hub for sustainability and green projects that align with the National Government’s policy of promoting cleaner sources of energy, for which full foreign ownership is now allowed under the amended implementing rules and regulations of the Renewable Energy Act,” Mr. Pascual said.

Other sectors posting significant investment approvals were manufacturing with P12.3 billion, administrative services P1.3 billion, agriculture P901 million, and transportation P847 million. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave