THE two main investment promotion agencies (IPAs) — the Board of Investments (BoI) and Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) — said they have to date hit 72% of their 2023 investment targets.
The BoI said approved investments in the first eight months amounted to P720 billion, slightly behind the year-earlier pace.
Marjorie O. Ramos-Samaniego, governor of the BoI, said at a forum on Thursday: “We see now a recent positive BoI investment approval performance. (As of) August of 2023, the BoI approved P720 billion in investment projects. This actually amounted to 72% of our original P1-trillion investment target,” she said.
Last year, the BoI approved an estimated P729 billion worth of new investments, which is 11% higher than the P655.4 billion approved in 2021.
In February, the BoI raised its investment target by 50% to P1.5 trillion for 2023. Registered investments at the end of August now account for 48% of the new target.
Ms. Ramos-Samaniego said that the recently amended implementing rules and regulations of the Renewable Energy Act drove the growth of investments.
She said that the amendment allowed 100% foreign ownership in renewable energy projects such as wind, solar, hydro, tidal, and ocean energy.
“With the recent registrations with BoI, we see now that the opening up of these renewable energy projects actually contributed to the growth of our investment projects,” she added.
Meanwhile, PEZA said investments between January and Sept. 7 amounted to P111.21 billion, almost three times the year-earlier level of P39.63 billion.
The approved investments were generated by 144 projects, against 148 projects from a year earlier.
“With our approved investment pledges as of September, we have achieved 72% of our P154.77-billion investment target for 2023,” said PEZA Director General Tereso O. Panga in a statement on Saturday.
“We are confident that we will exceed our conservative 10% growth target this year given the increasing number of ecozone applications filed with our office as well as big-ticket projects that we expect to register in the last quarter of 2023,” he added.
Mr. Panga attributed the performance to macroeconomic stability of the country and the attraction to investors of the forecast 6-7% gross domestic product growth.
“The other contributing factors for our increasing ecozone investments include our accession to free trade agreements, restoration of incentives for investors under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act, and the recent proclamation of ecozones providing for the most conducive location and environment for registered business enterprises,” he added.
On Sept. 7, PEZA’s board approved P14.04 billion worth of projects. The approvals covered 27 separate projects expected to generate exports of $174.81 billion and 4,614 jobs. — Justine Irish D. Tabile