One of the key areas of business sought to be developed by the Board of Investments in the Philippines are strategic projects generally geared towards high economic returns in the context of international trade, employment generation, lowering the costs of basic goods and services, and forward and backward linkages with existing industries.
These industries as loosely defined by the Philippine Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) which is refreshed every year, provides opportunities to foreign investors to enter the Philippine market and avail of the different incentives offered by the Board of Investments pursuant to the Omnibus Investments Code of 1987 and the attendant laws and orders covering investments.
These strategic projects, owing to the loose definition, can cover a wide range of business activities, not otherwise provided in the preferred, negative or mandatory lists of the IPP, and must be made clear through the preparation and submission of a project outline mapping out the justifications for its status. Additionally, while the application for strategic projects do not deviate from the usual application with the BOI covering non-strategic projects in the IPP; the BOI, together with the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Finance (DOF) will evaluate the application and the justifications of the applicant corporation prior to their concurrence, hence the procedure in applying for coverage under the BOI acquires another dimension.
The intent of the law is to lower the barriers to entry in industries or consumer-driven sectors in order to maximize the returns generated by investments, and to promote a mutually beneficial relationship between the foreign investor and the major markets within the Philippine economy. By offering benefits such as tax holidays and other forms of fiscal incentives, the foreign investor enjoys more room in diversifying and developing his product offerings, which likewise redounds to the benefit of the Philippine free market. With much needed foreign capital, the country can continually update its corporate infrastructure focused on increasing the efficiency of its telecommunications, the building of more public facilities, and mass benefit projects for the greater convenience of all.