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DTI sees investment boom in 2023

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has seen a significant rise in investments, both local and foreign, to the Philippines this year given the national government’s thrust to promote and secure high-value commitments under the Make It Happen in the Philippines campaign.

As of mid-December this year, the Board of Investment (BOI) under the DTI recorded P1.16 trillion in investment approvals garnered from 303 projects, which are projected to generate 47,195 jobs.

This is notably the highest investment approval level in the agency, surpassing the P1.14 trillion logged in 2019 and nearly 60 percent higher than P729.1 billion seen in 2022.

Photo from DTI-BOI

The top source of foreign investments was Germany with P393.28 billion, followed by the Netherlands with P333.61 billion, Singapore with P17.38 billion, and the United States with P3.38 billion.

Foreign investment approvals rose by over 400 percent to P763.22 billion in 2023 from P138.18 billion last year. Meanwhile, domestic investment approvals made up 34 percent of the total at P398.76 billion.

Majority of investment approvals were made to the renewable energy (RE) and power sector at P968.14 billion, with the BOI citing seven offshore wind power projects approved for this year.

Significant investments were also secured in the following industries: the information and communication sector with P96.16 billion; manufacturing with P22.03 billion; infrastructure with P20 billion; and real estate or mass housing with P15.63 billion.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) recorded P175.7 billion investments from January to December 2023, which is a nearly 25 percent increase from the P140.7 billion amount in 2022.

This was from 233 projects logged this year, 214 of which were locator projects and 19 developers projects. It is expected to create 40,527 jobs.

In a report from the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) on Dec. 26, the DTI said P4.02 trillion worth of investments were consolidated and processed as a result of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s foreign trips this year. This comprises 148 projects in various investment stages.

For instance, the Philippine delegation was able to rake in P170 billion in actual investments from Japanese companies who signed investment pledges during Marcos’ state visit to Japan early this year.

Moreover, DTI Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo said the Marcos’ state visits this year have generated P294 billion in actual investments as of Dec. 21. These were already registered with the BOI or PEZA.

In addition, the National Development Company (NDC) also secured P8.15 billion investments this year.

Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual and Minister of State for Foreign Trade, H.E. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi sign the TOR as part of DTI’s side activities at Conference of the Parties (COP) 28 on Dec. 2, 2023 in Dubai.

In 2023, the DTI has also been vocal in its support for the resumption of negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU), and is active in the negotiations in the potential FTA with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Last Dec. 2, DTI Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual and Minister of State for Foreign Trade H.E. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi signed the terms of reference (TOR) for the negotiations of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the UAE.

Through the CEPA, the DTI aims to expand the flow of goods and services exports to the UAE, generate more UAE investments, and gain access to the greater Gulf region. It also seeks to target the UAE market, which is home to one of the largest populations of overseas Filipinos in the Middle East.

Last September, the agency also signed the Philippines-South Korea bilateral FTA, which enabled the country to secure zero tariffs for 11,164 agricultural and industrial products. Of the total tariff concessions, 1,417 lines will be from the agricultural sector while 9,747 will be from the industrial sector. The FTA is expected to enter into force by early 2024.

Complimentary to this, DTI teamed up with the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT) last November to implement an origin management system project in order to optimize the Philippine-South Korea FTA and its other preferential trade arrangements.

The agency was also able to sign 24 industrial projects in partnership with the Fujian Province in China for steel production and logistics in the Philippines. The projects will be established in both Chinese and Philippine economic zones.

To further integrate the public and enterprises into comprehending and getting involved in FTAs, the DTI signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) to raise awareness and enhance the utilization of the country’s established trade agreements.

These include FTAs, preferential trade agreements (PTAs), economic partnership agreements (EPAs), and other related pacts like the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.

Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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