MANILA, JULY 16, 2007
(STAR) By Ma. Elisa P. Osorio - Investments for the first half of the year jumped 30 percent as businesses in the manufacturing sector continue to pour in, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

“The remarkable first half of the year investment performance shows that the Philippines is still one of the best investment destinations in Asia, an indomitable proof that the country remains competitive as brought about by the sound economic measures put in place by the government, despite the recent political exercise and the attendant political noise created by this exercise,” Trade Secretary Peter B. Favila said over the weekend.

In a joint report, the Board of Investments and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) said approved investments reached P130 billion from January to June, better than the P100 billion recorded during the same period a year ago.

The multi-billion investments cover 347 projects and created almost 70,000 new jobs. PEZA attracted investments totalling P69 billion while BOI listed P61 billion.

For June alone, BOI generated P39.3 billion , 248 percent more than the P11 million recorded in June last year.

PEZA generated P7.3 billion or 55 percent last month, more than the P4.7 billion last year. A total of 68 projects were approved by both agencies for June.

Local investors accounted for half of the total investments at P65.4 billion, slightly higher than the P64.9 billion poured in by foreign businessmen.

Foreign investments came mostly from traditional partners such as the Americans and Japanese that poured in P26.3 billion and P12.7 billion worth of investments, respectively.

Manufacturing remained to be the biggest contributor as the sector grew 157 percent to P48.5 billion from P18.8 billion primarily due to the capital infusion of Mabuhay Vinyl Corp. for the manufacture of caustic soda and hydrocholoric acid and liquid worth P564.6 million, and Pilipinas Kyohritsu’s production of automotive wiring harness worth P453.3 million.

Investments in infrastructure and electricity, gas and water supply sectors was at P33 billion. Major contributors under this sector are the investments in renewable energy sources as that of SN Aboitiz Power, Inc., a hydroelectric power generating plant worth P27 billion, First Hydro Power Corp. another hydroelectric power generation project worth P7.7 billion, Montalban Methane Power Corp. involving the production of power from methane coming from dumpsites worth P1.6 billion and Philippine Hybrid Energy Systems, Inc., a wind diesel hybrid energy power system worth P2.2 billion.

The IT services remarkably performed this year with a growth of 86 percent from P4.7 billion in 2006 to P8.7 billion in 2007.

The major investors include Sykes Asia - P845 million, Latitude Broadband- P162 million, Ghlsys Philippines -P154 million, Philwweb Corp. P147.8 million, and Focusmedia Audiovisuals- P126.7 million.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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