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Omicron dims Q1 foreign investments

PhilStar Global logo PhilStar Global 17/05/2022 Louise Maureen Simeon
Omicron dims Q1 foreign investments © Miguel de Guzman, file Omicron dims Q1 foreign investments

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines failed to attract more foreign investors during the first quarter amid the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, which resulted in mobility curbs in the country.

Latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that foreign firms have yet to pour in much-needed capital to revive the economy, as only investments from Filipino nationals showed improvement.

Approved foreign investments in the first quarter dipped to P8.98 billion, down 54 percent from the 2021 level of P19.55 billion.

The Philippines grappled with the Omicron wave in January, resulting in a record high number of daily cases.

This led to the return of mobility restrictions in Metro Manila and many other areas.

However, total investments from both foreign and Filipino investors went up 15.6 percent to P190.6 billion. Almost 95 percent of this came from local investors.

Foreign investment commitments were filed at the Board of Investments, BOI-Bangsamoro, Clark Development Corp., Philippine Economic Zone Authority, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan, and Cagayan Economic Zone Authority.

Of the 17 regions in the country, only six got foreign investments.

Calabarzon received the biggest chunk of foreign investments at P4.87 billion in the first three months. Some P1.66 billion went to Cagayan Valley while Central Visayas got P987 million.

The other three regions include Metro Manila, Central Luzon and Davao Region.

Of the investment promotion agencies, almost 50 percent each were made with PEZA (P4.47 billion) and BOI (P4.33 billion).

Of the industries, manufacturing secured the highest share at 57 percent with foreign investments worth P5.15 billion.

Electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply came in second with P1.66 billion in investments.

Administrative and support services activities ranked third with P977 million in investment pledges.

There was no foreign investment poured into water supply, sewerage and waste management, accommodation and food service activities, public administration and defense, human health and social work activities, and arts and entertainment.

According to the PSA, the investment commitments were mainly driven by Japanese projects, which accounted for 40 percent of the total, followed by South Korea which comprised 18.5 percent, and companies from Singapore which had an 18.2 percent share.

Businesses from Japan committed investments totaling P3.56 billion, while those from South Korea pledged P1.66 billion. Those from Singapore, meanwhile, pledged a total of P1.63 billion.

The approved investments of foreign and Filipino nationals in the first quarter created 14,416 jobs, down 39 percent from the 23,462 jobs created in 2021.

Of these, almost 70 percent will be absorbed by projects with foreign interest.                                                                                                                  

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