PH posts higher FDI flows than SEA neighbors

By Louella D. Desiderio, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 25 2013 08:40 AM | Updated as of Jan 25 2013 04:40 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines is among the countries in Southeast Asia which saw higher foreign direct investment (FDI) flows last year from a year ago even as total flows to the region declined, a United Nations (UN) agency said.

“Despite an overall seven-percent decline in FDI inflows to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), some countries in this group of economies appear to be a bright spot: preliminary data show that inflows to Cambodia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam grew in 2012,” the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said its Global Investment Trends Monitor report.

The UNCTAD report showed FDI inflows to the Philippines reached $1.5 billion last year, 15.5 percent higher than in 2011.

The same report showed that Cambodia saw FDI inflows surge by 104.3 percent to $1.8 billion from 2011.

FDI inflows to Myanmar posted a 90- percent growth to $1.9 billion last year, while inflows to Vietnam grew 12.5 percent to $8.4 billion last year.

Thailand also had more FDI inflows last year which went up 3.9 percent to $8.4 billion from 2011.

Other countries in the region meanwhile saw a decline in FDI inflows.

FDI inflows to Singapore fell 15.1 percent to $54.4 billion, while investments to Malaysia dropped 16.8 percent to $10 billion, and inflows to Indonesia went down slightly 0.1 percent to $19.2 billion from 2011.

FDI inflows to the ASEAN declined 7.3 percent to $106.5 billion last year from a year ago.

Global FDI inflows also went down 18.3 percent to $1.311 trillion last year from 2011.

For this year, the UNCTAD said FDI flows could rise moderately to $1.4 trillion and go up further to $1.6 trillion in 2014 “as the global economy is expected to make a hesitant and uneven recovery over the coming two years.”

Gross domestic product growth, gross fixed capital formation and trade are seen to rise gradually at the global level especially in developing countries, it added.