MANILA -- The Board of Investments on Monday said approved foreign investments dropped to P18.6 billion in January - June this year, a 73 percent drop from P68.9 billion it registered in the same period last year.
Despite the decline, the Philippine investments promotion agency said it approved P645.3 billion worth of investments in the first six months of 2020, or more than double the amount it greenlit in the same period last year.
The Board of Investments (BOI) said the approved investments from January - June was 112 percent higher than the P304.4 billion it approved in the first half of 2019, as investors sought to pour money into infrastructure and construction projects.
The BOI, which is an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry, said approved investments from domestic sources went up 166 percent to P626.7 billion.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, who also chairs the BOI, said investments rebounded despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic because the Philippines continues to have strong economic fundamentals.
“While we expect a lower GDP output in the second quarter than the first quarter due to the ECQ, there are already signs that the economy is humming back to life with industry conditions becoming stable,” Lopez said.
Construction and infrastructure led the rise with P530.8 billion worth of approved investments, followed by the transportation and storage sectors.
France was the top source of foreign investments with P1.5 billion worth of approved projects. It was followed by the Netherlands, Japan, Malaysia and India.
Last month, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said foreign direct investment inflows shrank 14.2 percent in the first quarter due to the impact of COVID-19.
The BSP also cut its FDI forecast by more than half this year to $4.1 billion from an earlier forecast of $8.8 billion.
The Philippine economy shrank in the first quarter, for the first time since 1998, with gross domestic product contracting by 0.2 percent.
The Philippine economy will likely contract by 2 to 3.4 percent this year, according to revised government assumptions.