The Board of Investments (BOI) posted investment approvals of Php201.9 billion in the first half of 2013, up 22% from the Php165.5 billion during the same period last year.

While approved investments from local investors reached Php154.8 billion, a slight decline of 0.18% from last year’s, foreign investment commitments in the country increased by 352% to Php47.1 billion compared to last year’s Php10.4 billion.

“The mid year figures show a remarkable increase in foreign participation in BOI approved projects - a clear sign of growing foreign investor confidence in our economy,” said DTI Undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal Jr., Managing Head of the BOI.

The increase in investment approvals came largely from the approval of big power projects led by the Php41.23 billion, 600 megawatt (MW) plant of GNPower Ltd. Co. in Bataan, followed by the 300 MW -coal-fired power project of San Miguel Consolidated Power Corp. in Malita, Davao del Sur (Php25.84 billion), and SMC Consolidated Power Corp’s300MW coal-fired power plant in Limay, Bataan (Php 25.51 billion).

For the first half of 2013, the BOI approved a total of 19 energy projects worth Php 159 billion and expected to generate 2,064 MW.

According to Undersecretary Cristobal, the approved BOI projects also show improved “strategic focus, with “investments being channeled to underdeveloped geographic areas of the country and into critical sectors.”

In the first half of 2013, the share of approved investments in Mindanao increased to Php 71.23 billion or 35% of the total, up from the Php 7.27 billion or 4.4% in the same period of 2012. Investments projects approved include coal-fired power plants, hydropower and solar plants,

palm oil manufacturing and processed and canned fish production. These projects will contribute particularly to the reduction of power cost in the Mindanao Island, exploit its agribusiness potentials and generate additional employment.

Approved power projects are critical in lowering electricity cost in the country, a key deliverable that cuts across the sectoral roadmaps being prepared by the BOI and industry associations. Addressing the issues of power costs is also important in sustaining the recent impressive performance of the manufacturing sector which grew by 20.4% in May 2013 compared to May 2012 per National Statistics Office (NSO) figures.

By sector, the Electricity, Gas, Steam and Air Conditioning Supply sector provided the biggest share of approved investments with Php159.5 Billion or 79% of the total. Real Estate Activities followed with Php26 Billion or 13% of the total, Transportation and Storage sector with Php5.7 Billion or 3% of the total , Accommodation and Food Service Activities Sector which include hotels, resorts and other accommodation facilities with Php4.2 Billion and Manufacturing with Php3.4 Billion. (END)

Source: DTI Public Relations Office