New investments seen to hit P1.9T in four years on strong FDI inflows

 Manila Bulletin

MANILA, Philippines – Buoyed by strong business confidence particularly from foreign investors, new investments inflow into the country are expected to reach P1.911 trillion in the next four years (2011-2014), Board of Investments managing head Cristino L. Panlilio said.

Panlilio told reporters the four-year investments target represents the combined costs of projects that are expected to register with the BoI, the government's premier investment generating agency, and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.

BoI approved investments normally involve projects that cater to the domestic market, while PEZA-registered enterprises are all export-oriented.

Of the P1.911 trillion investments target for the four year period, the BoI is expected to contribute the bulk of P1.338 trillion and PEZA with P573.1 billion.

This year, both agencies' investments are expected to hit P368.8 billion. Of this figure, the BoI is expected to generate P258.2 billion and PEZA with P110.6 billion.

"We also expect that $3.5 billion of the total BoI investments target this year would be foreign direct investments," he said.

By 2012, the combined BoI-PEZA investments are expected to hit P424 billion or 15 percent higher than 2011 with BoI contributing P296.8 billion and PEZA, P110.6 billion.

By 2013, both agencies would have combined investments haul of P508.8 billion, which is 20 percent higher than 2012, with BoI's contribution growing to P356.2 billion and PEZA, P152.6 billion.

By 2014, combined investments should have gone up to P610 billion maintaining a 20 percent growth with BoI's project approvals hitting P427.3 billion and PEZA with P182.7 billion.

Notably, the BoI target for 2011 is lower than the P301 billion worth of investments from the 213 projects it approved in 2010. The BoI approved projects in 2010 are expected to generate 36,450 jobs once they are in full commercial operation.

Panlilio, however, said that the original BoI target in 2010 was only P224.6 billion, but this was adjusted to P287 billion following the influx of independent power producers administrators (IPPAs) seeking BoI registration.

The lower target has also considered the fact that BoI has decided not to register any IPPAs this year because they do not bring in new power capacities nor entails new investments for major rehabilitation to rehabilitation to make the acquired assets more efficient.

IPPAs, which are the power plants being privatized by Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM), accounted for almost half of the total P301 billion investments approved by the BoI in 2010.

The absence of the IPPAs, Panlilio said, would be replaced by the registration of five projects under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program. Most of the PPP projects have foreign investors. Aside from PPPs, the BoI expects to generate more investments from the 11 priority sectors under the planned 2011 Investment Priorities Plan.

The 11 priority sectors are agriculture/agribusiness and fishery, creative industries, shipbuilding, mass housing, energy, infrastructure, research and development, green projects, tourism, strategic projects and projects under the PPP program.

Projects identified under these sectors would be entitled to tax and fiscal incentives of the government based largely on their impact to the domestic economy.