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BOI still short of '18 target by P105 billion.

THE Board of Investments (BOI) is now P105 billion short of its annual target, but it hopes to hit its objective with expected registrations of big-ticket manufacturing projects.

In a recent interview with reporters, Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo Jr. revealed that investments registered with the agency stood at P575 billion as of mid-November, or P105 billion short of its P680-billion target for the year.

'As of [last week, the BOI hit] P575 billion. We are still short of P100 billion,' Rodolfo said. A tall order as it may seem, Rodolfo is optimistic the BOI can pull all the stops to hit its objective this year. He said significant investments in manufacturing and tourism are expected to come in before the year ends.

'There is the construction-related manufacturing. It will create cement and steel to meet the domestic demand. There is also the tourism-related [investment] that is quite big. Hopefully, an infrastructure project also registers,' Rodolfo said.

However, he admitted that time is not on the BOI's side, as the deadline for the publication notice on fresh projects ends on December 15.

Investment pledges to the BOI last year breached an all-time high of P617 billion. The agency seeks to obtain P680 billion in commitments this year on the back of economic reforms, such as the passage of the ease of doing business (EODB) law.

Foreign direct investments (FDI ) from January to October expanded 156 percent to P39.3 billion, from P15 billion in the same period last year. Indonesia is the top FDI origin with P6.4 billion, followed by Malaysia with P2.9 billion and Japan with P2.8 billion.

Australia (P1.1 billion), China (P1.1 billion) and the United States (P612 million) are also listed among the country's main sources of FDI. They were followed by Italy with P485.7 million, Singapore with P404.1 million and Switzerland with P357.7 million.

The BOI is hoping the impending issuance of the EODB law's implementing rules and regulations will improve the country's investment portfolio. Likewise, it is spearheading various investments promotion and policy initiatives, including the crafting of the Strategic Investments Priorities Plan, which lists industries the government will give special treatment once tax incentives are rationalized.

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Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Nov 26, 2018
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