Foreign business groups commend easing of retail trade

easing-of-retail-trade

Foreign business groups lauded the recent move of Congress to ratify the bicameral report for the bill that would reduce the minimum required investment for foreign retailers in the country.

“As strong proponents of increased foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Philippines, we applaud the Senate and House for ratifying the bicameral report for the bill amending the Retail Trade Liberalization (RTL) Act of 2000,” the Joint Foreign Chambers in the Philippines, composed of the American, Australian-New Zealand, Canadian, European, and Japanese chambers, as well as the Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters Inc., said in a statement yesterday.

JFC said the move shows Congress recognizes the potential contribution of more foreign investments in the retail sector to the country’s economic growth and job creation.

The reconciled version of the bill sets the minimum paid-up capital requirement for foreign retailers at P25 million or around $500,000.

Under the existing law, the minimum paid-up capital requirement for foreign retailers is pegged at $2.5 million.

With the bicameral conference committee report approved, the bill will only need President Duterte’s signature to become law.

Foreign business groups have been pushing for the passage of the bill to amend the RTL as it would encourage more foreign investments and help the country bounce back from the impact of the pandemic.

JFC said they also welcome the support of the executive branch for bills to amend the Foreign Investments Act (FIA) and the Public Service Act (PSA).

Proposed amendments to the FIA seek to ease restrictions on foreign businesses, while the bill to amend the PSA aims to limit the definition of public utilities to natural monopolies, as well as open key sectors such as transportation and telecommunications to more foreign investments.

The three bills have been certified as urgent by Duterte.

“Together, enactment of these reform laws will see higher FDI inflows that will assist post-pandemic economic recovery,” the JFC said.

Source: https://www.philstar.com/business/2021/09/29/2130340/foreigners-laud-easing-retail-trade

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