Japan, Netherlands top sources of investments for economic zones
Contributed by JM Garcia – PIA, Bataan
MARIVELES, Bataan – Japan led the list of countries with billions of investments in the country’s economic zones with majority of assets lodged in the manufacturing industry, which is the bread and butter of Bataan freeports.
Japan committed PhP39.4 billion worth of foreign investments (FIs) as of last quarter of 2015, accounting for 28.5 percent of the total FIs for the period, based on a report from Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). Other top sources of FIs are the Netherlands with PhP37 billion worth of pledges, and USA with PhP16.5 billion.
Investments pledged from the Netherlands are mostly intended to finance projects in the Administrative and Support Service Activities and Manufacturing. FIs from USA would fund projects in Accommodation and Food Service Activities.
PSA said that majority of the commitments from top investor Japan is intended to finance projects in Manufacturing, which Bataan considers an engine of economic growth.
The province’s Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) is touted to be the country’s emerging manufacturing hub which has been producing high-end bags, garments, fashion accessories, and apparel among many others.
In terms of investment pledges, AFAB registered double-digit growth rates of 32.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015. It collected PhP459.6 million worth of pledges compared to PhP406 million in the same period in 2014.
“More than half, or 69.1 percent, of the approved foreign investments in the fourth quarter of 2015 were intended to fund projects in the Manufacturing industry,” PSA reported.
Total approved FIs in the said period amounted to PhP138.6 billion, higher by 45.6 percent from PhP 95.2 billion recorded in the same period in 2014.
Also, investment pledges from Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority grew by 201.5 percent to PhP2 billion from PhP646.8 million in the last quarter of 2015.