Foreign direct investment into the Philippines plummeted by more than 90 per cent in the first half of this year.
The troubling figure is set to overshadow government plans to dispatch an economic team to attract US businessmen to invest in the Philippines.
The gloomy economic news was presented at a Senate budget hearing and cited by Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon.
It comes as the Department of Fin
ance (DOF) is preparing to send an economic team to the US to present the administration’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure plan and a blueprint for tax reforms.
Sen. Drilon had expressed alarm at the figures presented at a hearing last week on the budget of the National Economic and Development Authority.
In a statement, he said that data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (central bank) showed a “significant deceleration” in new investments.
The entry of new investments — which is separate from money reinvested in existing businesses — went down by 90.3 per cent in the first six months of 2017. In the same period last year, $1.448 billion was invested. This year the figure stood at a derisory $141 million.
This huge reduction is expected to add an element of urgency to the economic team’s mission to the USA.
The DOF statement said the team, led by Finance Secretary Carlos G Dominguez, would be at the fourth overseas Philippine Economic Briefing in New York City tomorrow (Wednesday, October 11) with “a better-rounded picture on key developments in the Philippines’ fast-growing economy”.
The DOF said the focus of the presentation would be on the “golden age of infrastructure” being ushered in by President Duterte’s administration.
The ambitious plan calls for 75 flagship “game-changing” infrastructure projects. Half of which would be completed within the president’s term of office, which expires in 2022.
Supporters of the plan hope to spend up to nine trillion pesos on the programme.