New Investments Surge 322% to P148 B in 9 Months

Manila Bulletin, November 29, 2004 | Go to article overview

New Investments Surge 322% to P148 B in 9 Months


Byline: BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT

Approved investments soared 322 percent in the first three quarters this year to P148.22 billion as against P35.10 billion in the same period last year with infrastructure projects leading the investments trail accounting 74 percent of the total inflow.

These investments represent the combined cost of 301 projects approved by the countrys premier investment generating agencies, the Board of Investments (BoI) and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).

Of the total figure, the BoI-approved investments contributed the bulk with P117.80 billion while that of PEZA rose 90 percent to P30.43 billion against P16.01 billion for the same January-September period last year.

Foreign capital account for 87 percent of the total investments while local investors contribute P19.04 billion or 13 percent of the total.

Citing the significant inflow of investments, BoI Managing Head Elmer C. Hernandez, who is also Trade and Industry Undersecretary, has pressed for the need of a competitive incentive package.

"Although a host of many factors affect an investment decision to locate in a particular country, the incentives package plays an important role, especially in instances where there are deficiencies in other factors," he said.

Developing nations, he said, are competing aggressively to get that much-needed foreign direct investments are creatively designing their own incentives system, among other measures to attract the same.

For instance, the huge investments in the infrastructure sector materialized with the help of incentives.

Investments in the infrastructure sector, mainly five power projects reached P109.96 billion and accounted for 74 percent of the total investment for the first nine months this year.

"Although the bulk of investments are in power, these are the clean and environmental-friendly types of using liquefied natural gas (LNG), geothermal, co-generation plants using waste bagasse and wind that we need to sustain the power development plan of the Department of Energy," Hernandez said. …

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