Dominguez to Japanese investors: PH airlines and telecommunications are now open to full foreign ownership

Financial Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III

Secretary of Finance Carlos G. Dominguez III-DOF photo

MANILA, Philippines — The President’s Chief Economic Officer Rodrigo Duterte is urging Japanese investors to inject money into the Philippines, especially into sectors recently opened up more widely to foreign investment through amended laws.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III told Japanese businessmen at an investor briefing last Tuesday (April 26) that the airline, media, retail, private transport, renewable energy and telecommunications, among others, would now benefit from the three recently approved liberalization laws. by Duterte.

Dominguez was referring to amendments to laws on foreign investment, public services and retail trade liberalization, which Duterte’s economic team had pushed instead of changing restrictions enshrined in the 1987 Constitution.

On the one hand, “Now that the barriers to entry into the retail market for foreign retailers have eased, we urge you to establish and grow your retail operations in the Philippines,” said the chief financial officer.

Since majority Filipino-owned “utilities” were now limited to a few sectors and other utilities may be wholly foreign-owned, “we encourage experienced and strategic investors in Japan to bring their capital into the countries, particularly in the areas of telecommunications; media; and private transport vehicles and renewable energy,” he added.

Regarding the amended Foreign Investment Law, Dominguez said that it “liberalizes the exercise of professions, thereby creating opportunities to attract foreign investors who would otherwise be unable to do business in the Philippines without foreign talent.”

“These three forward-looking measures broaden the investment horizon. They create many opportunities for synergy between local and international businesses,” said the outgoing finance secretary.

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

The Department of Finance (DOF) had previously estimated attracting at least $10 billion in physical foreign direct investment (FDI) per year with the three Economic Liberalization Acts, as well as the Business Recovery and Tax Incentives Act for companies (CREATE) already in place. .

The CREATE Act had empowered the President to grant significant tax breaks to attract elephant-sized investment, on the recommendation of the Interagency Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB). It also reduced the corporate tax rate imposed on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to 20%, faster than the large corporations tax cut to 25% from 30% previously, which was the highest. of Asean.

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


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