Foreign pledges lift BOI’s 10-month approval to over P1T

By Kris Crismundo

November 3, 2023, 2:45 pm

MANILA – Investment pledges from foreign sources lifted the approvals at the Board of Investments (BOI), the country’s leading investment promotion agency (IPA), in the first 10 months of the year.

In a statement Friday, the BOI said foreign investment approvals surged by 567 percent to PHP757.33 billion from January to September 2023, from PHP113.49 billion in the same period a year ago. 

For October alone, the BOI registered the three offshore wind projects of Danish firm Copenhagen Infrastructure New Markets Fund (CINMF) worth PHP329.74 billion. 

On March 30, the Department of Energy (DOE) awarded the service contracts to CINMF for its offshore wind projects in Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur with a total capacity of 1,000 megawatts, 650 MW in Northern Samar, and 350 MW in Pangasinan and La Union. 

The project will create 230 jobs.

“This project is an example of the foreign investors’ deepening interest in investing in the Philippines. It also shows that we are positioning our country as an ideal investment of choice, especially in green investments such as in renewable energy and green metals,” Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said.

In a virtual press briefing Thursday evening, BOI Executive Director Corazon Halili-Dichosa told reporters that CINMF is the second renewable energy project that registered with the IPA at full foreign ownership. The other project is a solar power farm of a German company. 

Since last year, the government has allowed 100 percent foreign ownership of renewable energy projects. 

The big-ticket project of the Danish firm helped the IPA to record total investment approval of PHP1.07 trillion year-to-date.

The IPA’s top sources of foreign investments from January to October 2023 included Germany with PHP393 billion, the Netherlands at PHP333 billion, Singapore at PHP17.07 billion, the United States at PHP2.63 billion, France at PHP2.04 billion, and the United Kingdom at PHP1.05 billion. 

“The BOI hitting the trillion mark in investment approvals proves that the Philippines is heading in the right direction to become Asia’s premier investment destination of choice. Foreign investment pledges are at a record high. But the job is not done. Together with our other IPAs, we will continue to work to generate more investments into the country to provide more jobs for our countrymen,” Trade Secretary and BOI Chairman Alfredo Pascual said.

BOI targets to approve PHP1.5 trillion this year, a record-high investment approval for the IPA. 

Meanwhile, investment commitments from local sources are also strong this year at PHP316.22 billion.

In terms of sectors, the biggest investment registrations are in renewables at PHP899.79 billion, followed by information and technology at PHP95.51 billion, transportation and storage at PHP21.68 billion, manufacturing at PHP16.37 billion, administrative and support services at PHP8.94 billion, and real estate at PHP8.4 billion. (PNA)