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24 June 2010

Philippines launches new investment scheme

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The Department of Trade and Industry on Wednesday launched the Philippines’ new investment promotions roadmap amid stiff competition for foreign investors in Asia, according to the Manila Times. Asia has emerged from the global financial crisis ahead of other regions. Under the 2010 to 2014 Philippine Investments Promotion Plan (PIIP), the country’s investments promotion agencies (IPAs) are eyeing P2.4 trillion in cumulative inflows in the next five years through a joint approach in promotion efforts.

The PIPP would first identify target countries, sectors and companies, upon which the various IPAs would undertake joint investment promotion activities, such as exhibits, road shows and seminars.

The plan aims to bring up investment approvals by end-2014 to about P658 billion, more than double the commitments generated by the country’s IPAs at present.

The PIPP focuses on eight key sectors, namely agro-industry, business process outsourcing and information technology services, electronics and semiconductor manufacturing, energy and electricity production, logistics, mining, shipbuilding and tourism.

“With the PIPP, we see an enhancement of the country’s competitiveness and the increased inflow of investments while creating a synergy among IPAs for its focused promotional approaches in the next five years,” Trade Secretary Jesli Lapus told reporters.

He said this medium-term investment promotions master plan would be implemented by 11 IPAs even as the current administration ends this month.

“Anybody who comes in will just follow the blueprint, especially when supported by bilaterals and multilaterals,” the department chief said.

The PIPP covers the Aurora Special Economic Zone Authority, Bases Conversion and Development Authority, Board of Investments, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, Clark Development Corp., Philippine Economic Zone Authority, Philippine Retirement Authority, Phividec Industrial Authority, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Zam-boanga City Special Economic Zone Authority, and the Regional Board of Investments of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Min-danao. The Japan International Cooperation Agency funded the drafting of this plan.

Under the same promotions and marketing strategy, Japanese investors would be enticed to invest in transportation parts and equipment manufacturing, iron and steel production and mining.

Japan was the Philippines’ biggest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows during the past six years.

The launch of the plan comes at a time when emerging Asian economies like the Philippines are scrambling to get a slice of FDI flowing into the region, which is poised to grow the fastest in the near-term.

Competition for FDI became more intense after the Asean Trade in Goods Agreement came into force last month.

In recent days, Indonesia has touted the transfer of Nestle’s manufacturing facilities from Philippines and Malaysia—a report that the Swiss manufacturing giant has denied.

The Philippines cornered only 2.5 percent of total FDI inflows to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) bloc in 2008, while neighboring Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam each got between 12 and 16-percent share.


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