Foreign chambers laud changes to Foreign Investments Act
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - September 13, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign business groups in the country welcomed the recent approval of amendments to the Foreign Investments Act (FIA) at the House of Representatives, saying these would enable the Philippines to attract more investments.

In a statement, the Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) said the recent approval of House Bill 300, which makes two amendments to the FIA of 1991, is a positive development.

Among the amendments pushed by the bill is to remove the practice of professions from the coverage of the law.

“This ends the confusion in the Foreign Investment Negative List of ‘professions’ with ‘investment’,” JFC said.

There are 45 laws for professions which all allow qualified foreign professionals to practice in the Philippines as long as their home country would also let Filipinos to do the same.

The second amendment is to lower the required number of direct employees to 15 from 50 to allow investment of minimum capital of $100,000 in a domestic market firm.

“The passage of this FIA amendments bill will attract new investments and give smaller foreign investors a better opportunity to start a business in the Philippines, especially in creative industries and innovative enterprises. At the same time, it is not expected to compete with micro-small enterprises,” JFC said.

JFC has long been pushing for amendments on the FIA to make the country more attractive to investments and to create more job opportunities.

JFC is a coalition of the American, Australian-New Zealand, Canadian, European, Japanese, Korean chambers and Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters.

The chambers represent over 3,000 member companies engaged in over $100 billion worth of trade and some $30 billion worth of investments in the Philippines.

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