Foreign RE investments drive BOI approvals surge

APPROVED investments from January to May 2023 reached P532.27 billion, a 158.72-percent increase from the P205.73 billion investment approvals recorded in the same period in 2022, the Board of Investments (BOI) has reported. The surge was mainly driven by foreign investments in the renewable energy sector.

BOI data showed that of the approved 5-month investments of P532,268,380,000, the BOI recorded P403.86 billion of approved foreign investments, a 7,075.86-percent increase from the P5.63 billion in the same period in 2022.

Meanwhile, there were P128.41 billion worth of approved Filipino investments from Januaryto
May 2023. This is 35.83 percent lower than the P200.11 billion recorded in the same period in 2022, BOI noted. 

According to BOI, the P532.27 billion worth of investment approvals from January to May 2023 are seen to generate around 18,883 jobs from 106 projects it approved in the same period.

BOI Managing Head and Trade Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo said the bulk of foreign capital will be poured into the Renewable Energy sector.

“You can see clearly what drove it—when the President instructed and the [Department of Energy] DOE removed the ceiling on foreign equity participation in Renewable Energy,” Rodolfo told reporters on the sidelines of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) media briefing, which took effect on Friday.

H said around 80 percent of the secured foreign investments in the same period are in the renewable energy sector.

Rodolfo emphasized that the chunk of foreign capital being poured into the country is increasing, compared to local investments. Before, the BOI managing head said, around 80 percent of the investments would usually come from local companies and 20 percent from foreign firms.

This time, majority or an estimated 60 percent of investments now come from foreign companies while 40 percent originate from local firms.

In April 2023, Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual, who is also the BOI Chairman, said “we aim to attract more RE players globally as full foreign ownership is now allowed under the amended implementing rules and regulations of the Renewable Energy Act.”

Buoyed by a “robust” pipeline of investment leads, Pascual in February 2023 revised the investment approvals target for 2023 from P1 trillion to P1.5 trillion.

In a statement issued by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), BOI’s mother agency, in February 2023, Pascual expressed confidence that the 80 percent to 90 percent of the initial P1-trillion target of BOI could be achieved even before mid-year.

Computations by the BusinessMirror showed that the P532.27-billion investment approvals of the BOI from January to May 2023 or in the first five months of the year is 53.23 percent of the initial P1-trillion target.