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23 foreign firms invest total of $200 million in 2013

A total of 23 firms with estimated $200 million-worth of additional investments and employment opportunities of 3,000 jobs have set up operations in the country last year, Trade and Industry Undersecretary Ponciano C. Manalo, Jr.

Manalo said in a press conference that these new investments were the direct result of the aggressive investment promotions launched by the Board of Investments over the past 2 to 3 years.

“These 23 companies from various sectors have set up operations in the country last year as realized from various business missions over the last two to three years,” Manalo said.

Manalo said this as he reported that DTI conducted over 15 outbound investment roadshows in 2013 to various countries targeting firms engage in financial services, construction, insurance for business process management, among others.

But there were more inbound business missions that visited the country last year than outbound missions.

“There were a total of 210 inbound missions and 174 individual firms,” he said noting that each mission consisted of 11 delegates while the biggest mission with 200 members came from South Korea.

If converted into individual firms, Manalo said there were 600 prospective foreign investors that visited the country in 2013 that were assisted by the DTI/BOI. There have been other business missions that did not go through the BOI, but were facilitated by the private sector.

“This is 30 percent higher than the inbound missions that came in 2012,” Manalo pointed out. Japan has the highest number of visits followed by the USA, China and Korea.

“It was really a big year of inquiries from foreign business missions,” he said.

According to Manalo, these investors are engaged in business process management, IT, manufacturing, energy, construction and automotive.

He described these foreign firms as in the process of conducting “due diligence coping” stage.

The Philippines has been endeared to the Japanese companies, which also bring in their parts suppliers to locate in the country to support its supply chain.

For instance, the parts suppliers for the Japanese printer firms that are already in the country are also relocating here.

The Philippines is also competing against a big foreign construction company, which is toying of investing in the Philippines or another ASEAN country.

The firm, which Manalo refused to identify, will be producing pre-fabricated housing components for the exports market.

“This is a major investment,” he said.

Investments coming from Europe are mostly into fashion retailing.