ECCP at Work

ECCP@Work Featured Articles | April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

ECCP Online

ECCP at Work

FDI net inflows surge in January
Net inflows of foreign direct investments (FDIs) into the Philippines nearly doubled in January, amid strong demand for local debt instruments, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported. Preliminary BSP data showed that FDI net inflows surged by 89.9% to $907 million in January from $478 million in the same month in 2023. Month on month, net inflows rose by 9.8% from $826 million recorded in December.

Unemployment rate down to 3.5%, job quality better in February 

The number of jobless Filipinos went down in February to 1.8 million, from 2.15 million in January, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported. That brought the country’s unemployment rate to 3.5 percent, lower than the 4.5 percent in the preceding month.

Philippines to lead growth in ASEAN+3

The Philippines is expected to post the fastest economic growth in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Plus 3 this year and the next, according to the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO). The ASEAN+3 Regional Economic Outlook (AREO) 2024 report showed the AMRO expects the Philippine economy to grow by 6.3 percent this year – unchanged from the growth forecast it provided in January.

World Bank cites upside to GDP view with enhanced investment

Philippines gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to rise around 5.5% to 6% this year, with possible upside provided by accelerated investment and productivity reforms, according to the World Bank (WB). In its April update, the bank estimated Philippine economic growth at 5.8% this year and 5.9% next year.

Trade deficit narrows to $3.65B in Feb.

The Philippines posted a trade deficit of $3.65 billion in February, the slimmest in five months, as exports and imports both grew at the fastest pace in 16 months, data from the statistics office showed. Preliminary data from the PSA showed the country’s trade-in-goods balance — the difference between exports and imports — stood at a $3.65-billion deficit in February, slipping by 6% from the $3.88-billion gap in February last year.

ADB tempers 2024 Philippine growth forecast to 6%

he Asian Development Bank (ADB) has cut its 2024 growth outlook on the Philippines, citing persistent threats from inflation and a projected slowdown of the global economy. In its flagship “Asian Development Outlook” report, the multilateral lender trimmed its gross domestic product forecast for the Philippines this year to 6 percent, from 6.2 percent previously.

ADB forecasts Developing Asia growth at 4.9% in 2024, says risks persist

The ADB nudged up its 2024 growth forecast for Developing Asia to 4.9% from 4.8% projected in December, but warned of persistent challenges such as rising geopolitical tensions, including in the Middle East, that could disrupt supply chains and reignite inflation. Its 2024 growth forecast was slightly weaker than the region’s 5.0% growth in 2023. Growth for 2025 was also forecast at 4.9%.

PHL expects $100-B investments in coming years as it seeks closer ties with US, Japan 

The Philippines may secure as much as $100 billion in investments in the next five to 10 years as it pursues a three-way partnership with the United States and Japan, according to its envoy to Washington. The expected investments would cover energy, semiconductors, infrastructure, and the digital economy, Philippines Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel D. Romualdez said.

Over 52K MW of RE needed by 2040 to attain targets 

The Department of Energy (DOE) said  at least 52,826 megawatts (MW) of additional renewable energy (RE) capacity will be needed by 2040 if the country would stick to the current targets of the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Under RPS, electricity suppliers are mandated to source a portion of their requirements from RE currently set at 2.52 percent per annum. The program also aims to increase the share of RE in the country’s energy mix to 35 percent by 2030 and 50 percent by 2040.

Installed energy capacity slightly up in 2023

The country’s total installed on-grid power capacity grew by a measly 0.12 percent in 2023 from 2022, with coal still dominating the power mix, data from the Department of Energy  showed. Total installed on-grid capacity was recorded at 28,291 megawatts (MW) in 2023 against 2022’s 28,258 MW. Coal recorded an installed capacity at 12,406 MW, down by almost 0.18 percent from 12,428 MW. Coal’s share fell last year to  43.9 percent from 44 percent in 2022.

PHL doubles efforts to finish rail projects as traffic hurts growth

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. on Wednesday said his government is working double time to fast-track railway projects as traffic gridlocks in the capital region alone cost billions of pesos in lost opportunities per day. Mr. Marcos reported the progress of ongoing railway projects, including the proposed Metro Manila Subway, which he said was now 41% complete.

Loans to agriculture sector ‘quadrupled’ in 2023

The banking sector’s loan disbursements to the agriculture sector quadrupled last year after the government widened the number of projects considered as compliant with the 25 percent requirement, a member of the central bank’s Monetary Board said.

PH electronics exporters now see modest growth this 2024

“We think there is going to be some upside, some modest growth for the year, especially if you look at the global demand,” SEIPI President Dan Lachica said. In September last year, SEIPI revised its earlier projection of a 5-percent growth to flat performance for 2024 after the disappointing second quarter performance.

Global semiconductor players eye P42B investments in PH 

Three global electronics and semiconductor companies are putting up factories in the Philippines starting this year,  with two of them investing as much as $750 million or P42 billion. The three projects will create as many as 6,600 jobs.

Industry groups, govt to launch refreshed 1M JOBS program 

Perry Ferrer,  vice president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), told reporters  the group, along with the Employers Confederation of the Philippines Inc. and the Philippine Exporters Confederation and other industry groups, have partnered with  government agencies and the academe in rolling out a sustainable JOBS (job opportunities, building skills) program.

BSP to extend rate pause — poll

THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is widely expected to keep its policy rate steady for a fourth straight meeting as inflation may accelerate in the coming months. A poll conducted last week showed that all 16 analysts surveyed expect the Monetary Board to maintain its target reverse repurchase (RRP) rate at a near 17-year high of 6.5% at its meeting on Monday (April 8).

DENR streamlined-approval rules for exploration, processing due this year

New guidelines that will reduce application processing time for exploration permits and mineral processing operations are due out this year, according to the Office of the Special Assistant to the President for Investment and Economic Affairs (OSAPIEA). “For mining, we aim to encourage investments by reducing the processing time to get exploration permits going and to follow the roadmap Indonesia has taken for downstream nickel processing,” he said. Mr. Go said that the end goal is for the country to develop its electric vehicle industry by laying the foundations today.

Asia-Pacific air travel sustains momentum

The aviation sector in Asia Pacific, including the Philippines, has shown a strong start for the year as demand for air travel sustained momentum, according to International Air Transport Association (IATA). Passenger traffic in the region posted growth during the first two months of the year—45.4 percent in January and 53.2 percent in February—based on the latest data of the global trade group.

Tourism, creative industries named priorities in e-commerce dev’t plan

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said the E-Commerce Philippines 2024-2028 Roadmap will focus on growing the e-commerce ecosystem in the tourism, creative, food and agribusiness, transportation, and logistics industries. The DTI said the E-Commerce Promotion Council meeting it conducted on April 8 was looking at ways to expand the international footprint of Philippine products and services.

DivinaLaw partner helps push NGCP-ECCP agreement on renewable energy

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines and European Chamber of Commerce have signed an agreement to help the development of renewable energy in the country through the sharing of knowledge and expertise in transmission and distribution operations. The Cooperation Agreement was spearheaded by the ECCP Committee on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.

Bosch supports TFP 

This year, Bosch MA Philippines were able to raise P1-million donation from the proceeds of the Bosch Europa Horns sold last 2023. The campaign continues to support the foundational skills development among public school students through the following programs: Functional Literacy Program aims to develop reading and math skills of students; Batang Bayani Program that encourages students to practice positive behavior towards learning at home.

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