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Dominguez to Japanese investors: PH airlines, telecoms now open to full foreign ownership


Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III–DOF photograph

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte’s chief financial supervisor is urging Japanese traders to pour cash into the Philippines, particularly in sectors lately opened wider to foreign investments by amended legal guidelines.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III instructed Japanese businessmen at an traders’ briefing final Tuesday (April 26) that the airline, media, retail, non-public transportation, renewable power, and telecommunications sectors, amongst others, would now profit from the three liberalization legal guidelines lately accredited by Duterte.

Dominguez was referring to amendments to the Foreign Investments, Public Companies, in addition to Retail Commerce Liberalization legal guidelines, which Duterte’s financial staff had pushed in lieu of amending the restrictions enshrined within the 1987 Structure.

For one, “now that market entry barriers in the retail industry for foreign retailers have eased, we urge you to establish and expand your retail trade operations in the Philippines,” the finance chief stated.

Since majority Filipino-owned “public utilities” have been now restricted to just a few sectors and different public providers can have full foreign ownership, “we encourage experienced and strategic investors in Japan to bring their capital into the country, especially in the fields of telecommunications; media; and private transportation vehicles and renewable energy,” he added.

On the amended Foreign Investments Act, Dominguez stated it “liberalizes the practice of professions, thereby creating opportunities to attract foreign investors that would otherwise be unable to do business in the Philippines without foreign talent.”

“These three forward-looking measures widen the horizon for investments. They create numerous opportunities for synergy between local and international firms,” the outgoing finance secretary stated.

“There is now enough space for international firms to form joint ventures with Filipino companies, especially those at the cutting edge of information technologies,” Dominguez stated.

The Division of Finance (DOF) earlier estimated attracting a minimum of $10 billion in brick-and-mortar foreign direct funding (FDI) yearly with the three financial liberalization legal guidelines, plus the Company Restoration and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act already in place.

The CREATE regulation had empowered the President to grant hefty tax perks to entice elephant-sized investments, upon the advice of the interagency Fiscal Incentives Overview Board (FIRB). It additionally slashed to 20 p.c the company tax fee slapped on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), quicker than the tax discount amongst giant companies to 25 p.c from 30 p.c beforehand, which had been the very best in Asean.

“I invite Japanese investors to look closely at the Philippine economy in the light of the pro-business policies instituted and institutionalized by President Duterte over the last five and a half years. The Philippines is a growth leader in the region and a reliable host for international partnerships particularly partners from Japan,” Dominguez stated.

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