Duterte signs law amending Foreign Investments Act

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 4) — President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure amending the Foreign Investments Act, further opening up the economy to foreign investors.

Republic Act 11647, signed on March 2, seeks to ease foreign equity restrictions in certain sectors. A copy of new law was released by Malacañang on Friday.

Foreigners engaged in export enterprises can now secure 100% ownership in areas outside the foreign investment negative list under the new law.

Foreign investors can also shell out capital to hold as much as 100% equity in domestic enterprises.

The measure also entices small players to invest in the local market by relaxing rules on direct hires, cutting direct employees from 50 to at least 15 Filipino employees.

Under the amended Foreign Investments Act, an Inter-Agency Investment Promotion Coordination Committee (IIPCC) will be created to facilitate efforts to attract more foreign investments in the country.

The Department of Trade and Industry will lead the IIPCC.

The law also orders the injection of ₱50 million to the IIPCC to implement its duty. The budget will come from the contingent fund of the General Appropriations Act for the current fiscal year.

A new section has also been inserted, mandating the IIPCC to create the Foreign Investment Promotion and Marketing Plan, which would focus on the medium five-year and the long-term ten-year plan. It should be based on "competitive advantages, natural resources, skill and educational development, traditional linkages, and international market potential."