PH to Boost FDI to more than $10 Billion Annually

With a goal of $10 billion annually in Foreign Direct Investment the Philippines is working to in increase investment from abroad, particularly in shipyards, factories, and call centers or the voice services sub sector of the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. 

According to Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo, the country received 24 business teams – from countries such as Japan, Russia, and Turkey – in the first six months of 2012. Domingo said that investors expressed interest in business process outsourcing, energy, agriculture, garments, steel, and shipbuilding. 

The $10 billion target for FDI matches the target of P400 billion for 2012 announced earlier this year by the Board of Investments (BOI), which is chaired by Domingo. The BOI goal is in turn backed by the 2012 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) which has already identified 13 preferred economic activities that are given a package of tax incentives. 

The 13 preferred economic activities for 2012’s IPP include creative industries/ knowledge-based services, agriculture/agribusiness and fisheries, mass housing, shipbuilding, strategic projects, iron and steel, infrastructure and PPP, green projects, research & development, hospital and medical services projects, disaster prevention and recovery projects, energy, and motor vehicles.

The Philippines’ $225 billion economy grew 6.4 percent in Q1. This is the fastest pace for the economy since 2010. The peso, which gained about 5%, is 2012’s best performer against the U.S. dollar among the 11 most-traded currencies in Asia. The Philippine Stock Exchange Index also had a record surge this July.

The country attracted about $6 B in pledged foreign investments in 2011 and has generated commitments from companies that include Gazasia Ltd. and Glencore International Plc for 2012. Domingo added that business teams from Argentina and Mexico are also due to visit the Philippines.