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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Luzon Investment Conference set in November, 51 funding-ready projects open to investors

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through its Regional Operations and Development Group (RODG) and Board of Investments (BOI) is organizing the Luzon Investment Conference (LICON) 2011 slated November 24, 2011 at New World Hotel in Makati City.

Aiming to further boost the investment opportunities in Luzon, LICON 2011 seeks to showcase the salient investments destinations from the eight Luzon regions with the view of promoting projects that are funding-ready and backed by potential investors and appropriate markets. The investment conference also aims to forge strategic alliances for investments cooperation between and among Luzon regions, industry organizations and the business sector.

Latest tally by the LICON technical working group showed that about 51 funding-ready projects are open to investors in the investment conference which will be highlighted by the keynote address of President Benigno Aquino III and testimonials from successful firms.

In the afternoon, companies can take advantage of the huge investment opportunities by participating in business matching activity which covers a wide range sectors including agriculture, agri-business, energy, fishery, green projects, housing, infrastructure, industrial park, manufacturing and tourism.

“The investment opportunities will target inclusive growth to uplift the poor and marginalized as expressed in the Social Contract of President Aquino to the Filipino people,” DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo said.

President Aquino earlier issued Memorandum Order No. 20, the Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) of 2011, which aims to generate jobs thereby eradicating poverty through effective implementation of free trade agreements, strengthening the country’s global competitiveness, support to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and promotion of a green economy.

Under the banner of “A New Day for Investments: Coherent, Consistent and Creative,” the Aquino Administration pursues job generation and business competitiveness crucial to a sustained equitable economy. “A key feature of this year’s IPP is the inclusion of private-public partnerships projects to tap the private sector in the improvement of the country’s infrastructure system,” Domingo said.

Thirteen items have been included in the list of preferred priority projects like agriculture, creative industries/knowledge-based services, research and development, green projects, and disaster prevention, mitigation and recovery projects.

Of these, six were new entries, including the PPP projects which include development of low-cost mass housing; tourism projects outside designated tourism enterprise zones; shipbuilding; exploration, development and utilization of indigenous energy sources; and the manufacture of alternative fuel vehicles and electric vehicles.

The first nine months of 2011 posted positive growth for investments in the country. The country’s top two investment promotion agencies, BOI and PEZA, in a report to Secretary Domingo stated that both agencies aggregated a total of P450.06 billion worth of approved investments from January to September of the year, up by 57% compared to the P286.51 billion generated in the same period last year.

“Both agencies’ investment approvals posted gains with BOI’s record higher by 60% to P328.42 billion from P205.89 billion. PEZA’s ecozone investments likewise went up by 51% at P121.64 billion from P80.62 billion posted in the same period last year. These were accounted, to a large extent, by the significant approvals recorded particularly in March and July of this year which offset the relatively lower level of commitments in September,” the report showed.

According to the latest BOI-PEZA investment figures, the major source of investments came from local investors with committed investments worth P379.06 billion, accounting for 84% of total investment approvals while foreign investors contributed a total of P70.99 billion or 16%.

The 712 approved projects are expected to create 125,531 additional jobs when fully operational, a 49% increase from last year’s 84,520. “Region 4 tops the list of regions with the highest total investments worth P94.64 billion or a 21% share to total investments.

BOI’s major investment commitment came from Petron Corporation (99.47% Filipino and 0.53% Foreign), an existing industry participant under the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998 (RA 8479), which infused new investments worth P74.78 billion primarily for the modernization/conversion of the Bataan oil refinery project.

Region 3 came in second with P87.49 billion (19% of total investments), followed by NCR in third with investments of P77.24 billion (17%). Significant investments were also directed to Region 13 (P50.57 billion) and Region 11 (P39.03 billion),” the report showed. DTI-Public Relations Office

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