The Philippine government has loosened rules applying to international retailers operating in the country.
President Rodrigo Duterte recently passed an amendment of the Retail Trade Liberalisation Act of 2000, which reduces the minimum paid-up capital for foreign retailers that wish to do business in the country.
Under the revised regulations, foreign retailers will be required to have a minimum paid-up capital of PHP25 million (US$500,000) instead of PHP125 million (US$2.5 million) as before.
In addition, only retailers coming from countries that do not prohibit the entry of Filipino retailers are allowed to operate in the Philippines. Several restrictions, such as the requirement to have a five-year track record in retailing or a minimum net worth of US$50-200 million for the parent corporation, have also been removed.
For foreign retailers operating more than one store, the minimum investment per store will be reduced from PHP41.5 million (US$830,000) to PHP10 million (US$194,772). Foreign retailers are also encouraged to have a stock inventory of products made in the Philippines.
The amended law is expected to help further boost foreign investment in the country as part of the government’s efforts to recover the economy amid the ongoing pandemic.