Businesses laud changes to Foreign Investments Act

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The approval of the amendments to the Foreign Investments Act (FIA) is seen boosting the country’s economic recovery efforts, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and business groups.

The Trade department said the amended FIA provides less stringent requirements for potential foreign investors, positioning the Philippines as an attractive investment destination amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Duterte signed Republic Act 11647 last March 2, amending RA 7042 or the FIA of 1991.

The new law aims to attract, promote and welcome foreign investments to support economic growth.

Under the law, the Inter-Agency Investment Promotion Coordination Committee would be created, with the DTI as lead agency, to promote and facilitate efforts to encourage foreign investments in the country.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the new law would encompass more sectors to encourage more foreign direct investments (FDIs).

“We in the economic team have always been in favor of reasonably opening up the economy and liberalizing as many restrictions that hinder the continuous and fast growth of the economy,” Lopez said.

The government has been pushing for the passage of the amendments to the FIA to lessen barriers for foreign entry and to hasten the country’s economic growth through foreign investment.

“This is an opportune time for foreign investors, as the Philippines develops the necessary investment landscape through significant economic and regulatory reforms, complementing as well the recent full reopening of the economy as major cities in the country were de-escalated to Alert level 1,” Lopez added.

Management Association of the Philippines president Alfredo Pascual said the approval of the measure has long been part of the group’s advocacy.

“The amended FIA brings the Philippines more in line with being investment-friendly like other developing countries in our region. It should make the country more attractive to FDIs that will help strengthen and diversify the Philippine economy as we recover from the pandemic,” Pascual said.

Pascual explained the measure is expected to improve the country’s competitiveness, create more jobs, broaden the manufacturing base as well as lead to more higher value-added products from agriculture and natural resources.

Local consumers are also expected to benefit from the measure through better products and services.

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