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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        13  April 2011

FDI starts 2011 strong in Philippines

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Foreign direct investments (FDI) to the Philippines surged in January this year on the back of improved risk appetite for emerging Asian assets.
In a statement, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said it registered net FDI inflows of $207 million in first month of the year, up by 21.8 percent from the year-ago level of $170 million.
The central bank noted that all FDI components registered net inflows during the month, reflecting buoyant prospects for the global economy during the year.
“The strong economic performance in 2010, combined with a cautiously optimistic outlook in 2011, also helped drive FDI inflows into the country,” Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said.
“FDI flows are expected to remain positive in 2011 with the continued global economic recovery and the national government’s thrust for public-private partnerships,” Espenilla said.
FDI pertains to money invested by foreigners in the Philippines for establishing new businesses or expanding existing ones, and as such generates employment.
Net equity capital inflows rose to $25 million for the month, a reversal of the $27-million net outflow in January last year.
Gross equity capital placements were channeled largely into real estate, mining, manufacturing, and administrative and support service activities such as call center activities, and business process outsourcing.
The bulk of these inflows came primarily from the United States, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Reinvested earnings reached $64 million, lower by 28.9 percent than the level recorded in the same period last year, as foreign enterprises held their earnings in local corporations in light of the country’s improving business sentiment, the central bank said.
The other capital account also registered a net inflow of $118 million on the back of higher trade credits extended to Philippine-based subsidiaries/affiliates by their parent companies abroad.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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