Record high again for foreign investments in Philippines


MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines again bagged a record number of investments from overseas in 2017, although the growth was substantially lower than in 2016.
The amount of  foreign direct investments (FDIs) coming into the Philippines  reached a new all-time high at $10 billion in 2017, up by 21.4% compared to 2016 numbers.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) attributed the record-high FDIs in 2017 to positive investor sentiment.
"Investors continue to view the country as a favorable investment destination on the back of the country's sound macroeconomic fundamentals and growth prospects," the BSP said in a statement.
The Philippines has been reporting record-breaking levels of inward foreign investments since 2013. But it was in 2017 when growth was substantially lower compared to 2016's 40.7%.
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This was partly because of the drop in FDIs coming into the country in December last year, down by 8.98% to $699 million, from $768 million in December 2016, data from the BSP showed.
"[This was] largely [due] to the 19.1% drop in net investments in debt instruments to $335 million," the central bank said.
Net placements of equity capital also declined moderately by 0.4% to $305 million in December 2017.
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The BSP said most of the investments came from the Netherlands, Singapore, the United States, Japan, and Hong Kong.
These investments were largely in gas, steam, and air-conditioning supply; manufacturing; real estate; construction; and wholesale and retail trade.
Economists polled by Rappler were upbeat about prospects for FDIs in 2018 .
Dennis Mapa, dean of the University of the Philippines Diliman School of Statistics,  highlighted the Philippines' favorable demographics in particular.
The Philippines is seen to have a population of more than  107 million  by the end of 2018, with a fertility rate of 1.9% annually and a median age of around 23 years old.
"You have a young population so that brings a lot of opportunities," Mapa said. – Rappler.com

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