FIs slump to 3-yr low

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    The total foreign investments (FIs) approved by investment promotion agencies in 2020 posted a three-year low amid the coronavirus pandemic-induced crisis.

    Data posted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) yesterday showed that approved FIs amounted to P112.12 billion last year, 71.3 percent down from the P390.11 billion recorded in 2019.

    The approved FIs in 2020 is the lowest since 2017’s P105.75 billion.

    The investment pledges came from the investment promotion agencies, namely the Board of Investments (BOI), BOI-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Clark Development Corp., Philippine Economic Zone Authority, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan and Cagayan Economic Zone Authority.

    The FI commitments for the full year of 2020 were mainly driven by investments from the United States of America which accounted for 31.5 percent of the total FI for the period, followed by China with 13.9 percent and the United Kingdom with 11.7 percent.

    The USA committed P35.37 billion, while China and UK pledged P15.6 billion and P13.08 billion, respectively.

    In terms of industry, the largest share went to manufacturing with P37.6 billion, accounting for 33.5 percent of the pie, followed by transportation and storage with a share of 33.4 percent with P37.47 billion, and administrative and support service activities with a 15.9 percent share, equivalent to P17.84 billion.

    For the fourth quarter alone, total FIs amounted to P36.49 billion, 67.5 percent lower compared with P112.11 billion in the same period in 2019.

    Meanwhile, the total approved Filipino investments for the year amounted to P1.03 trillion, 11.6 percent up from the P918.99 billion posted in 2019.

    Combined with the approved investments from foreign investors, the total investments approved for the year amounted to P1.14 trillion, 13.1 percent down from 2019’s P1.31 trillion.

    The PSA said the projected employment from approved investments of foreign and Filipino nationals was 140,216 in 2020, down by 21.6 percent from 2019’s 178,954.