THE Trade department said it is following up on about 250 leads from companies considering investing in the Philippines as the economy reopens.

Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said during the Philippine Economic Briefing news conference at the Philippine International Convention Center on Tuesday that many of the potential investments had been postponed due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak and the surge in cases due to the Delta and Omicron variants.

“We have a list of about 250 investment leads… Many of these investments (were) actually just postponed during the pandemic,” Mr. Lopez said.

Asked to elaborate, Mr. Lopez told reporters via Viber that some of the leads can generate expected investment of about P450 billion.

He said in a subsequent message that some of the strongest leads involve electronics projects from MinebeaMitsumi, Inc., Brother Industries Co. Ltd., US automotive electronics supplier Amphenol Corp., data center equipment supplier Positronic, contract electronics manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group; as well as an expansion by Toyota Motor Corp. and the previously-reported entry of Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX).

Mr. Lopez added that some of the investments will be finalized before the end of the Duterte administration.

“Some are (coming in) before end June. Usually within 18 months,” Mr. Lopez said.

According to Mr. Lopez, the rest of the investments involve, renewable energy, healthcare information technology and business process management, integrated agriculture production and processing, logistics, and garments and textiles.  

The government is expecting more foreign investment following the passage of key economic reform measures, such as the amendments to the Foreign Investments Act, the Public Service Act, and the Retail Trade Liberalization Act.

These measures seek to attract more foreign investment that will drive the economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Trade department recently reported that investment pledges recorded by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and Board of Investments (BoI) fell 90% year on year to P12.82 billion in the first two months of 2022.

PEZA took in P7.55 billion worth of pledges during the period while the BoI registered P5.27 billion.  

In 2022, PEZA hopes to post growth of 7-8% in approved investments, while the BoI is targeting P1 trillion worth of investment approvals. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave