Foreign investments

Approved foreign investments increase by more than 70% in 2021

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 15) — Foreign investment pledges rose 71.5% in 2021 after a strong performance in the last three months of the year, according to the latest figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The PSA reported that ₱133.47 billion in foreign investment (FI) was approved from October to December, more than triple the ₱36.49 billion recorded in the last quarter of 2020. The latest figure pushed the overall tally for 2021 at ₱192.34 billion, up from 112.12 billion the previous year.

Singapore tops the list of investing countries in 2021, accounting for £80.17 billion or 41.7% of total investment commitments, followed by the Netherlands and Japan.

The bulk of approved FIs are aimed at funding information and communication projects, accounting for £144.32 billion or 75% of the total. Manufacturing as well as administrative and support services activities come next, the PSA added.

Nationwide projects accounted for ₱144.36 billion or 75.1% of overall commitments in 2021. In terms of region, projects in Calabarzon are expected to receive the most funding at ₱20.01 billion or 10.4% .

However, the agency noted that projected employment of FIs approved fell 33.6% to 66,251. Projects approved by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) – which saw a 40% drop in pledges investment – expected to generate the majority of total employment at 49.8%.

Foreign nationals pledged 25.4% of overall investment commitments in 2021, which stood at £756.63bn, down 33.6% from the previous year.

The government has aggressively pursued measures to attract more foreign investment amid the pandemic to create more jobs, with President Rodrigo Duterte signing the Business Recovery and Business Tax Incentives Act (CREATE ) in March of last year.

Duterte also signed Republic Act No. 11595, which amends the Retail Liberalization Act, last December.

Meanwhile, the measure amending the decades-old Civil Service Act to ease restrictions on foreign capital in certain industries awaits its signature.