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DTI pursues 159 investment leads, sees rebound

By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez yesterday announced they are pursuing a total of 159 investment leads to choose the Philippines as complementary host country for manufacturing operations even as he revealed of a rebound in new project approvals.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez

Lopez said in a webinar “Kapihan sa Manila Bay” said the Board of Investments of which is also chairman has existing 24 foreign business leads and 135 additional firms being targeted by the agency.

According to Lopez, the 24 existing business leads are relocating from China and have been pursued by BOI even before the COVID-19 pandemic. These are mostly Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese, Koreans and Americans. But Taiwan, Japan and Korea are the first three countries being targeted by the BOI for manufacturing operations.

On top of that, the BOI is targeting 135 Chinese and non-Chinese firms. These include 16 Wuhan-based companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Wuhan is the epicenter of the disease that spread out to the world.

The Wuhan-based firms are engaged in the manufacture of electric equipment and appliances, metal products, auto/auto parts, and machinery and equipment manufacturers.

The BOI has also identified 64 China-based companies affected by the US-China trade war that are candidates for relocation to other sites. These firms are engaged in the production of medical devices, optical lenses, appliances, bicycles and furniture.

Another 53 companies of which 35 are based in China are also being pursued by the government’s premier investment promotion agency. These firms are manufacturing COVID-19 related products such as medical supplies, and products and electronic components for medical applications.

The BOI has position the Philippines as a complementary host country to target companies in the manufacturing industry. The agency has also supported companies to accelerate the conversion of these leads.

Lopez even noted of the tailor-fit kind of incentives that the Department of Finance has incorporated in the CREATE Bill, the improved version of the CITIRA bill.

In addition, BOI has encouraged the retention and expansion or diversification of firms for exporting companies in the country.

Also, the BOI has promoted the repurposing of manufacturing activities in the country towards the production of critical medical products such as medical grade PPEs, face masks N95 and N88, ventilators, among others.

Meantime, Lopez reported of 100 percent rebound in approvals of new projects in the May and June following a steep decline in the first quarter as processing had slowed down due to the lockdowns.
Among these are the three integrated steel projects by Chinese firms two of which are just finalizing plant locations in Mindanao and the third in Luzon.

A Japanese firm is also looking at locating in North Luzon with potential jobs requirement of 10,000.

Another firm engaged in optic stabilizer sensor production is interested in the Philippines. These are on top of the BPOs and other services firms looking at the Philippines.

While processing had slowed down during the lockdowns, Lopez said that inquiries from investors continue through online meetings and investment forum.

“So we keep them basically active and warm because they believe we can rebound in time because we’re already there,” he added.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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