Duterte orders NEDA Board to ease foreign ownership limits

  • President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the National Economic and Development Authority Board to “exert utmost efforts” to relax restrictions on certain investment areas with limited foreign participation.
  • In a memorandum order dated 21 Nov 17, Duterte tasked the NEDA Board to “take immediate steps” to ease existing restrictions on foreign participation in the following investment areas/activities:
  • Private recruitment, whether for local or overseas employment; Practice of particular professions, where allowing foreign participation will redound to the public benefit; Contracts for the construction and repair of locally-funded public works; Public services, except activities and systems that are recognized as public utilities such as transmission and distribution of electricity, water pipeline distribution system, and sewerage pipeline system; Culture, production, milling, processing, and trading except retailing, of rice and corn and acquiring by barter, purchase or otherwise, rice and corn and the by-products thereof; Teaching at higher education levels; Retail trade enterprises; and Domestic market enterprises
  • Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia earlier said NEDA would push for an aggressive liberalization of the Foreign Investment Negative List, particularly in the areas of retail trade, practice of professions, public utilities and infrastructure contractors.
  • In Oct 17, Pernia said the 11th version of the FINL had already been transmitted to Malacañang for review.
  • Restrictions on foreign ownership, however, cannot be all lifted administratively as several prohibitions need legislative action.
  • The negative list determines investment areas where foreign participation is prohibited or limited. The FINL was last updated in 2015.
  • The list will be presented for approval during the next meeting of NEDA. Once cleared, an executive order promulgating the 2017 FINL is expected to be signed before the end of 2017.

External Link : http://www.philstar.com/business/2017/11/23/1761765/duterte-orders-neda-board-ease-foreign-ownership-limits