February 12, 2024 | 12:00am
From President Marcos‘ overseas trips
MANILA, Philippines — A total of $14.2 billion worth of investments pledged during the foreign trips of President Marcos have already been actualized or have commenced implementation, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reported yesterday.
In a statement, the DTI said the actualized investments as of December 2023 cover 46 projects, which span sectors such as manufacturing, information technology and business process management (IT-BPM), renewable energy, infrastructure, transport and logistics, agriculture and retail.
Manufacturing has the most number of projects, comprising 16 projects with a 35 percent share. This is followed closely by IT-BPM with 10 projects (22 percent) and renewable energy with nine projects (20 percent).
“The most significant countries as investment sources in terms of the number of projects that have already been actualized are Japan with 21 projects and the US with 13 projects,” the DTI said.
The $14.2 billion actualized investments account for 20 percent of the $72.2 billion worth of investments at different stages, which were generated from the President’s foreign trips. This covers 148 projects.
The DTI noted that foreign investors are still conducting pre-implementation and planning activities in their respective countries for the remaining 102 projects involving $58 billion worth of investment pledges.
“While certain investment projects seamlessly progress from commitment to operation (e.g., IT-BPM), others require a more extended implementation period of up to seven years in the case of offshore wind and major physical infrastructure projects. The investment flows into the country in phases over the implementation period, during which the project transitions into operational status and begins generating revenues,” the DTI said.
It emphasized that the duration of the implementation period depends on the sector to which a particular project belongs.
“Due to relatively shorter implementation periods, investment commitments from the presidential visits in the IT-BPM sector and in light manufacturing have mostly become operational,” the trade department said.
While the foreign direct investment (FDI) values are modest, the DTI said that the early actualization of investment commitments in these sectors contributes to the decrease in the unemployment rate in the Philippines, given that IT-BPM and manufacturing are significant generators of direct employment.
The DTI noted that the trips of President Marcos have been pivotal in generating serious investment interest in the Philippines.
“The President visited key countries, introducing to specific investor communities his overall vision and policy direction of opening up the country to more foreign investments, including implementing game-changing legislation under his term,” the DTI said.
While presidential visits are effective platforms for generating investment pledges, the DTI underscored that realizing projects demands relentless follow-through and strategic collaboration.
“Our dedication to turning investment pledges into reality is unwavering. We also leverage each presidential visit as a springboard for building up a pipeline of investment opportunities and making the Philippines an investment destination of choice,” DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual said.
To streamline investment processes and foster a conducive business environment, the government has implemented policy initiatives such as Executive Order 18, establishing green lanes for strategic investments. These green lanes aim to hasten, simplify and automate the permit and license application processes for strategic investments in the Philippines.
As of Feb. 8, 2024, the Board of Investments (BOI) has granted green lane certification to 41 projects, with 20 projects either having submitted commitments during the presidential visits or directly resulting from follow-through activities.