Philippines ‘sweet spot’ for investment (Tempo)

The Philippines edged its Asian neighbors in providing an environment that attracts big foreign companies. Besides traditional investment sources such as United States of America, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, potential investors from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa now look at the country as investment site.

The Board of Investments (BOI) reported that P75 billion worth of investments poured in the first month of 2013 the biggest of which was the P40-billion Subic power project. BOI-registered investments come with tax holiday packages and incentives to attract more big companies. The growing investor confidence is fueled by the robust 6.6% growth in the economy in 2012, a competitive labor force, and a stable government.

The International Finance Corp. (IFC), the private sector financing arm of the World Bank, plans to invest up to $400 million in the Philippines in 2013 in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects, transport, tollroads, water, and power, particularly renewable.

The United Kingdom (UK) has increased trade and investment in the Philippines, particularly in information and communications technology, PPP, retail, education, energy, and health care. Investments from Taiwan rose over 30 percent to $400 million in 2012 from $300 million in 2011, according to the Taipei-based Manila Economic and Cultural Office. Some $400 million in investments were infused by 16 companies in various Philippine industries, of which about $100 million went to Clark and the rest to economic zones in Batangas, Laguna, and Cavite. Some 800,000 Filipinos are employed today by foreign investors in 275 special economic zones nationwide.

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