Sustained FDI growth prospect bright

Bangko Sentral Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. is hopeful the country can sustain the rise in foreign direct investments (FDIs) after it registered a record-high USD10 billion in 2017.

“We’re certainly hopeful because there are many drivers for more FDI,” he told journalists at the sidelines of the Chamber of Thrift Banks (CTB) convention at Makati Shangri La Tuesday.

The central bank chief pointed out that the domestic economy’s growth momentum “is strong” and is a major contributor to entice more foreign investors to place their money here.

“We are opening new relationships across borders beyond ASEAN and Greater Asia so we have more expectations of increased FDI,” he said.

The Duterte administration’s infrastructure program called “Build, Build, Build” is another plus factor, he said.

“That’s creating also private sector demand to support BBB. From an investment standpoint, it makes sense to look at Philippines as an investment destination,” Espenilla said.

“Also, independent analysts recognize that there are real changes happening. From those angles, I think we have a fairly optimistic outlook on FDI,” he added.

On Tuesday, the BSP reported that FDIs rose by 56.7 percent year-on-year in January 2018 to USD919 million.

“Investor outlook on the country’s economic performance remained positive on the back of strong macroeconomic fundamentals,” it said in a statement.

Inflows of net equity capital accounted for the bulk of FDIs in the first month this year at USD473 million, up from USD58 million in January 2017.

Total placements reached USD531 million, up by 646.9 percent over last year’s USD71 million and way higher than the USD58 million withdrawals last January.

The BSP has its eyes set on USD8.2 billion in FDIs this year.