Charter change advocates hype FDI as a way to strengthen the economy, particularly the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing already overwhelmingly dominates the country’s exports.
However, in the absence of Filipino industrialization, FDI dominates domestic manufacturing. Foreign manufacturers and foreign investors in general have very low local content and their import-intensive operations are fueling the country’s trade deficit. This has widened over the years reaching a record US$43.5 billion in 2018.