Feb 212013

MANILA, Philippines – The American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham) supports the government’s plan to review the Foreign Investment Negative List (FINL), citing that it is beneficial to update rules with the current environment.

AmCham director Robert Sears said the group is backing the government’s plan to review the FINL.

“It is always good to review outdated laws,” he said in a text message.

Earlier this week, economic managers such as Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, National Economic and Development Authority director general Arsenio Balisacan and Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo agreed to undertake a review and hold consultations for the FINL.

Purisima said the plan is to present the results of the review and consultations to President Aquino.

Sears, however, noted that only items in the list would be examined and they would not be review lifting economic restrictions in the Constitution.

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The FINL identifies activities reserved to Filipino businesses and the limits to the participation of foreign enterprises in these areas.

The latest list or the 9th FINL was released by the government in October last year.

The FINL, which was introduced in 1991, is reissued every two years.

Although the list is updated, it is not seen to have provided changes to help encourage more foreign investments.

Earlier, the Joint Foreign Chambers said that since 1991, only two major changes have been made to the FINL, these include the opening of retail trade to foreign investors pouring in at least $2.5 million and allowing 100-percent foreign equity in gambling in economic zones.

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