Investment Boom Expected by DTI in 2023

The Philippines Attracts Record-High Investments in 2023

In 2023, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has experienced a remarkable surge in both local and foreign investments, bolstered by the national government’s commitment to promoting and securing high-value investments under the Make It Happen in the Philippines campaign.

As of mid-December, the Board of Investment (BOI) reported that they have secured P1.16 trillion in investment approvals from 303 projects, which are expected to create 47,195 jobs. This marks the highest level of investment approvals in the history of the agency, surpassing the P1.14 trillion recorded in 2019 and nearly 60 percent higher than the P729.1 billion seen in 2022.

The top sources of foreign investments this year were Germany, the Netherlands, Singapore, and the United States, with approvals totaling P393.28 billion, P333.61 billion, P17.38 billion, and P3.38 billion, respectively. Foreign investment approvals rose by over 400 percent to P763.22 billion in 2023 from P138.18 billion in the previous year. Meanwhile, domestic investment approvals made up 34 percent of the total at P398.76 billion.

Notably, the majority of investment approvals were made to the renewable energy (RE) and power sector, totaling P968.14 billion. Other notable investments were secured in the information and communication sector, manufacturing, infrastructure, and real estate or mass housing.

Additionally, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) recorded P175.7 billion investments from January to December, marking a nearly 25 percent increase compared to 2022. This was from 233 projects, which are expected to create 40,527 jobs.

In a report from the Presidential Communications Office, the DTI said that P4.02 trillion worth of investments were consolidated and processed as a result of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s foreign trips this year. Moreover, DTI Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo reported that the president’s state visits this year have generated P294 billion in actual investments as of December 21. Additionally, the National Development Company (NDC) secured P8.15 billion investments this year.

The DTI also announced its support for the resumption of negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU) and its active role in the potential FTA negotiations with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In a significant development, DTI Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual and Minister of State for Foreign Trade H.E. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi signed the terms of reference (TOR) for the negotiations of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the UAE. Meanwhile, the agency signed the Philippines-South Korea bilateral FTA last September and collaborated with the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT) to optimize the Philippine-South Korea FTA and other preferential trade arrangements.

To facilitate greater public and business involvement in FTAs, the DTI signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) to raise awareness and enhance the utilization of the country’s established trade agreements. These initiatives aim to enhance the flow of goods and services exports, generate more foreign investments, and secure greater market access for the Philippines, ultimately strengthening the country’s economic prospects.

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