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British Chamber bullish on swift passage of Priority Legislative Bills

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In photo: The House of Representatives of the Philippines (Photo file/THEPHILBIZNEWS)


The British Chamber of Commerce Philippines expects swift passage of the bills amending the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, Public Service Act and Foreign Investment Act. The priority bills will be integral to attracting foreign direct investments and are expected to contribute to boosting the country’s economic growth and recovery.

British Chamber hopes that the final version of the RTLA will reduce the barrier to foreign investment as low a possible. To bear in mind there has been little change in foreign ownership in the country’s retail sector since RTLA was passed in 2000. It is important to minimize the restriction now to allow a higher number of retail enterprises to operate in the Philippines, benefiting Filipino customers. The Chamber highly prioritizes this bill as one of its key sectors includes retail. Significantly, the chamber is receiving growing interest from UK companies interested in the country’s retail sector.

British Chamber of Commerce PhilippinesExecutive Director and Trustee
Photo courtesy of BCCP

The proposed amendments of the Foreign Investment Act are also expected to increase the entry of FDIs and technology transfer. Additionally, the proposed amendments aim to let foreigners own small and medium-sized enterprises with a minimum paid-up capital of less than $100,000 if it involves advanced technology, or employs at least 15 direct employees. To highlight, the bill is seen improving technology transfer, raising foreign exchange from exports and leading to higher tax revenues.

Meanwhile, the proposed amendments to Public Service Act will encourage new investments from foreign firms in telecommunications, transportation, and other services which will result in greater competition. Filipinos will now have more and improved choices, better services, and lower pricing for telecommunications and transportation.

Moreover, Chris Nelson, BCCP Executive Director and Trustee expresses his appreciation to the House’s goal and commitment to quickly pass the priority reforms. Furthermore, Nelson also looks forward that additional developments will be made in the next three months. With this in mind, the British Chamber’s main objective is to send a powerful message to foreign investors that the Philippines remains a great destination for investment.
Above all, the British Chamber will continue to highlight business opportunities to UK companies. Therefore, it is necessary to emphasize the country’s advantage and great potential for attracting long-term investments, to do this, the country should continue reducing trade barriers and ease investment restrictions by amending the RTLA, FIA and PSA. In other words, the British Chamber strongly believes that the passage of these bills will support the recovery of the economy.
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