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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

5 more business pledges from PBBM trips to bear fruit soon

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AN additional four to five business pledges from President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s overseas trips are expected to materialize soon after the government implemented “business-friendly” measures  and policies since last year, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

“There are two BPO (Business process outsourcing) companies offices, which will be inaugurated soon. So I would say, there will be four or five more [which will be inaugurated],” DTI Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo said in Filipino during a press briefing in Malacañang.

Since he started his term last year, the chief executive was able to visit 11 countries, which resulted in investment pledges for 130 project leads.

Rodolfo said 11 of the project leads were realized, including two newly inaugurated manufacturing factories.

DTI made the disclosure after its sectoral meeting with President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. in  Malacañang last Tuesday morning to update him on the investments pledges, which resulted from his overseas travels.

FDI surge

From January to September this year, DTI’s Board of Investments (BOI) reported that it approved P734 billion worth of investments–102 percent higher than the P362 billion worth of investments it approved in the same period in 2022.

The bulk or P427 billion of the registered amount is accounted for by foreign direct investments (FDI), while the remaining P307 billion are from local sources.  

“If you compare it to the same period last year, it’s (FDI increase) actually a 4,150-percent increase,” Rodolfo said.

“We are counting that really as having been significantly related to the [overseas] visit of the President,” he added.

Top FDI sources

Of the registered FDIs, 80 percent came from Germany. The other top sources of FDIs include Japan and South Korea, according to Rodolfo.

DTI attributed the spike in FDIs to the government’s removal of foreign equity restrictions (FER) on renewable energy projects before his participation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nation-European Union (Asean-EU) Summit in Brussels, Belgium last year.

During the first nine months of the year, 90 percent of the approved FDIs are for renewable energy, while the other investments are in telecommunications, mineral processing among others.

“So you can see the direct correlation between when the Department of Energy, as instructed by the President, removed that [foreign equity restriction], you can immediately see the entry of foreign investments,” Rodolfo said.

He noted that while the FER was still in place, the country received minimal FDI for renewable energy.

Other measures which help draw more FDI investments in the country, Rodolfo said, are the passage of Republic Act No. 11534 or the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act and the creation of green lanes for FDIs under Executive Order No. 18.

Currently, 11 projects worth P300 billion are registered in the said green lanes.

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