Foreign direct investments (FDIs) in manufacturing reached $1.15 billion worth in 2017, a jump of 244 percent from year-ago level, preliminary central bank data showed.
Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez cited the data yesterday, saying investor confidence was real and the business climate remained positive.
The BSP data showed that the net FDI the manufacturing sector received last year was more than four times its size in 2016, when it got $334.25 million.
This came as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas announced that the country yet again hit an all-time high FDI figure last year of $10 billion, 21.38 percent higher than the previous high of $8.3 billion.
More than 21 industries received FDI inflows. One-third of the total equity placements went to the manufacturing industry.
“The figure accounts for 35 percent of the $3.3 billion equity placements in 2017,” said Lopez.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it had intensified its campaign to revive the manufacturing industry in the country, partnering with the private sector in doing so.
Lopez said the industry was a “highly viable investment area and a source of meaningful and well-paying jobs for the people.”
The BSP figure was a stark contrast to the Philippine Economic Zone Authority report that showed a drop in registered manufacturing investments.
Peza officials had said investment pledges dropped by about 50 percent, considered the sector’s worst performance in the agency’s history.
There are a number of differences between pledges and the FDIs, one of which is that pledges are not yet considered as actual investments. Moreover, pledges consist of commitments from both foreign and local companies.
“The Philippines continues to be a magnet for investments, and this is due to the country’s improving business environment, sound macroeconomic policy reforms, [and] aggressive infrastructure buildup,” said Lopez.
He also cited political stability, favorable demographics, a growing middle class and consumer base as other reasons behind the strong investor confidence.