New FINL list, EODB law to boost FDI — DOF
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - November 8, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines —  The newly shortened Foreign Investment Negative List (FINL) and the newly enacted Ease of Doing Business Law may further increase foreign direct investments (FDI) and boost businesses in the country, according to the Department of Finance.

In his latest economic bulletin, Finance Undersecretary and chief economist Gil Beltran said allowing more foreign firms to enter the country would improve the country’s FDI inflows and fuel economic growth.

“The liberalization of foreign participation in domestic businesses will further boost FDI entry, provide much needed domestic competition, dampen inflation and release the full potential of the economy. The newly signed shortened negative list is seen to further improve FDI figures,” Beltran said.

Beltran said the newly enacted Ease of Doing Business Law may boost both local and foreign businesses in the country.

President Duterte signed in May Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business Act of 2018 to reduce bureaucratic red tape that delay processing time for government transactions.

The President also issued in late October Executive Order 65, promulgating the 11th regular FINL, which enumerates the areas or activities open to foreign investors and those reserved only for Filipinos.

The new issuance has relaxed some restrictions on foreign firms’ participation in infrastructure and some professions.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said the new list would help raise the country’s competitiveness by opening up more areas for foreign investment, particularly those that would introduce new technology and stimulate innovation.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said reforms implemented by the Duterte administration would also help sustain the growth of FDI inflows into the country this year.

He expressed confidence that this year’s FDI inflows would exceed the P10 billion level the previous year, reaching another record-high for the country.

FDI inflows in the first seven months jumped by more than 52 percent to $6.67 billion from $4.38 billion in the same period last year, according to data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

For July alone, FDI inflows surged by nearly 166 percent to $914 million from the $344 million recorded in the same month in 2017.

According to Beltran, the top three main contributors to the growth in FDI inflows were manufacturing, with total inflows of $860.53 million; financial and insurance activities, $374.18 million; and real estate activities, $208.73 million.

The largest sources of FDI were Singapore ($790.61 million), Hong Kong ($250.11 million), China ($174.11 million), Japan ($153.68 million), Taiwan ($116.80 million), and the United States ($85.71 million).

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