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NEWS UPDATES 18 August  2010

Philippine investments set to hit target

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Philippine observers expect that investments would contribute to faster economic growth next year amid signs that foreign direct investment (FDI) this year would hit the government target.

The investment-to-GDP ratio either will stay the same or be reduced slightly, Paderanga said, adding that private sector participation will fill the gap through the government’s public-private partnership (PPP).

Separately, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s focus on PPP will be a big boost to the country’s FDI.

Despite the lower-than-expected inflows of FDI recorded in the first five months this year, the BSP is “still on track” to achieving its full-year projection, Tetangco said.

He said the PPP will focus on infrastructure projects to increase accessibility in tourist destinations around the country.

FDI inflows reached $446 million in the January to May period, or 68 percent lower than the $1.393 billion in the same period last year.

For 2010, the central bank revised inflows projection to $2 billion from $1.8 billion earlier.

State-run Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) had said that the country’s investment-to-GDP ratio has deteriorated since 1994.

Last year, this ratio stood at 14 percent, lower than the previous year’s 15.2 percent and the 2007 level of 15.4 percent.

In 1994, this ratio stood at a high of 24.1 percent.

Paderanga said a 4 percent increase in this ratio is considered “large,” but it is still not comparable with neighboring countries.

According to the United Nations World Investment Report 2010, FDI inflows to the Philippines rose 26.16 percent to $1.95 billion in 2009 from $1.54 billion in 2008.

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