Foreign investment down 54% in first quarter – Manila Bulletin

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Approved foreign investments fell by half in the first three months of the year despite improving economic conditions amid the protracted pandemic, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.

According to the PSA report, total foreign investment fell by 54 percent to 8.98 billion pesos from January to March, compared to 19.55 billion pesos in the same period last year.

Commitments were mainly driven by investments from Japan accounting for 39.7% of the total, followed by South Korea with 18.5% and Singapore with 18.2%.

“Japan pledged 3.56 billion pesos, while South Korea and Singapore pledged 1.66 and 1.63 billion pesos respectively,” PSA said.

According to the PSA, manufacturing beat all other industries at the moment to receive 5.15 billion pesos, or 57.4% of total pledges.

Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply came second with investment commitments valued at 1.66 billion pesos or 18.5% share, followed by administrative services and support with 977.37 million pesos or 10.9% contribution.

The majority of foreign investments approved in the first quarter of 2022 are intended to finance projects in the IV-B or CALABARZON region for an amount of 4.87 billion pesos, or 54.2% of the total.

Next come the Cagayan Valley with 1.66 billion pesos (18.5%) and the Central Visayas with 986.59 million pesos (11%).

Meanwhile, total approved investment from foreign and Filipino nationals reached 190.57 billion pesos in the first quarter, up 15 percent from 164.89 billion pesos in the same period a year earlier.

“Philippine nationals continued to dominate investment approvals during the quarter, posting 181.59 billion pesos in investment pledges, or 95.3% share,” PSA said.

The foreign investments were pledges from six investment promotion agencies (IPAs).

These were the Bataan Free Zone Authority, the Board of Investments, Clark Development Corp., the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority and the ‘Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.

No investment approvals were reported by BOI-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BOI-BARMM) for the first quarter of 2021 and 2022.

The total number of projects approved by foreign and Filipino investors in the first quarter of 2022 is expected to generate 14,416 jobs.

Of the total number of jobs forecast for the period, projects approved with foreign interests are expected to generate 9,655 jobs based on API reports.

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