UNCTAD 20 investment sites
Cartoon by Roni Santiago
The Philippines is No. 19 in UNCTAD’s (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) list of top 20 investment destinations in the world. The list was based on results of a survey conducted by UNCTAD’s Division on Investment and Enterprise (DIE).

DIE is a global center of excellence, dealing with issues related to investment and enterprise development in the United Nations system.

In its survey, DIE selected 161 transnational corporations and 64 investment promotion agencies as respondents.
The Philippines shares the No. 19 place with Hong Kong and Turkey. No. 1 in the list is China, followed by the United States and India.

In World Investment Prospects Survey for 2013 to 2015, released on Nov. 6, 2013, UNCTAD stated that aside from having been chosen a top investment destination by the TNCs, the Philippines was ranked second among member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that registered the biggest foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, with $2.2 billion in the first half of 2013.

The survey, conducted in February until May this year, listed other countries conducive for investments. These are Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, United Kingdom, Russian Federation, Australia, Poland, South Africa, Canada and France.

Developing regions such as East Asia and Southeast Asia were described as priority regions for FDIs.

UNCTAD, which was created in 1964, is the principal organ of the United Nations General Assembly dealing with trade, investment, and development issues. Its goals are to maximize trade, investment and development opportunities of developing countries and assist them in their efforts to integrate into the world economy on an equitable basis.

The inclusion of the Philippines in the list of top 20 investment destinations in the world has confirmed earlier reports that foreign equity investments in the country amounted to P93.4 billion in the first semester of this year, an increase of 126.9 percent from P41.2 billion in the same period last year.

It also gives credence to government’s claims that the economy has been growing and expanding in the past three years with its GDP steadily increasing.

The growth is fueled mainly by increasing FDI inflow, foreign exchange remittances of overseas Filipino workers, increased export volume and the stability of the peso.

Also expected to boost the economy are foreign funds, amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars, donated for the rehabilitation efforts in the provinces devastated by super typhoon Yolanda.

The massive construction of houses, buildings and infrastructures that will replace the ruined structures is expected to further stimulate economic growth, which could result in more jobs.

With these plus factors, prospects are bright for the Philippines to scale great heights of progress and prosperity in the coming years.