BOI pledges up 156%; PH seeks China projects


    The Board of Investments (BOI) recorded a 156-percent increase in investments in the first two months of 2021 to P121.9 billion from  P976 million in the same period in 2020 in what could be a good indication of resumption of confidence in the economy.

    Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez announced this in his remarks at the First Manila Forum for China-Philippines Relations organized by the Association for Philippines-China Understanding  and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China to the Philippines,
    As he congratulated China on its  economy’s recovery, Lopez urged Chinese companies to explore a wide range of investment opportunities available in the country:  manufacturing of e-vehicles, e-bikes, and bicycles; light industries manufacturing for connectivity devices, bags, and textile manufacturing; and Internet of Things (IoT), smart manufacturing, and  artificial intelligence; among so many others.

    Lopez enumerated more recent investments from China in the Philippines: DITO Telecommunity, which is the country’s incoming major telecom operator; APF Group Holding Corp., producer of slabs and hot rolled coils in Misamis Oriental; Florida Blanca Steel Industries, an export producer of steel pipes in Pampanga; Liangan Power Corp., a renewable energy developer in Lanao del Norte and; Hydrocore which is developing the Ibulao Hydroelectric Project in the Ifugao Province.

    Lopez said  the Philippines also is   seeing signs of economic recovery as “we push for the gradual and calibrated reopening of our economy. “

    “Despite our GDP falling to 9.5 percent in 2020, we saw diminishing declines in the latter quarters of last year: from a record-low -16.5 percent in the second quarter to -11.5 percent in the third quarter and -8.3 percent in the fourth quarter,” he added.

    He also cited the steady rebound of the  Philippine Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index in February  showing a 52.5 index, unchanged from January, from a huge decline at 31.6 last April 2020 at the height of the lock down.