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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   5 August 2013  

New investments tallied by 4 agencies reach P301B, up 39%

Philippines:Investments generated by the four major investment promotion agencies (IPAs) reached P300.91 billion in the first semester of 2013, a 39% increase from the P216.19 billion in the same period last year.

Among the four agencies, the Board of Investments (BOI) posted the highest investment commitments worth P201.9 billion, a 22% increase from last year, followed by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) with P83.69 billion, a 92% increase compared to last year. Both are attached agencies of the DTI.

Meanwhile, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) reported a remarkable 440% increase of approved investments to P13.95 billion this year, a big part of which is from the P21.3 billion resort complex, theme park, and golf course projects of Resom Resorts Phils, Inc.

On the other hand, the Clark Development Corporation posted P1.37-billion approved investment on the first half of 2013, a 73% decline which is expected due to repricing the structure of its lease rates and re-evaluation of the optimal use of remaining liable Clark areas.

Local investors led in the BOI and PEZA investment approvals with P193.68 billion, 14% higher from P170.63 billion last year, while foreign investors committed P91.91 billion, up 139% against P38.49 billion last year.

The increase in investment commitments is attributed to the government’s effort to address issues that affect the business sector, such as corruption, infrastructure and the business environment leading to improved investor confidence in the country.

The top five sources of foreign investment commitments on the BOI and PEZA approval list was topped by the United States with P43.64 billion, followed by British Virgin Islands with P20.62 billion.

Japan ranked 3rd hitting P9.34 billion while investment pledges from Netherlands and Australia also increased in the first half of 2013 with P5.99 billion and P2.19 billion, respectively, beating previous performers such as South Korea, Singapore and People’s Republic of China.

Once fully operational, the investments registered with the IPAs in the first half of 2013 is expected to generate 77,892 more jobs, a 17% increase from 66, 416 jobs committed during the same period last year.

DTI Undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal Jr., who is also managing Head of the BOI, noted that while approved investments from local investors reached P154.8 billion, a slight decline of 0.18% from last year’s, foreign investment commitments in the country increased by 352% to P47.1 billion compared to last year’s P10.4 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

The increase in investment approvals came largely from the approval of big power projects led by the P41.23 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 (P25.84 billion), and SMC Consolidated Power Corp’s300MW coal-fired power plant in Limay, Bataan (P25.51 billion).

For the first half of 2013, the BOI approved a total of 19 energy projects worth P159 billion and expected to generate 2,064 MW.

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 P71.23 billion or 35% of the total, up from the P7.27 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. (BCM)

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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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