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RTLA opens opportunities to foreign businesses

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The rewards spelled out in the recently enacted Retail Trade Liberalization Act (RTLA) will attract foreign businesses to put up business into the country, stated the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI).

In a statement, GPCCI said landmark reform law would open the country to more foreign direct investments (FDI) and job creation. President Rodrigo Duterte signed RTLA last month to expand the liberalization of the domestic economy.

“As the law addresses the existing investment barriers, we are seeing massive opportunities for foreign retailers to participate in the Philippine market and will also help us further promote the country as an attractive investment destination,” GPCCI Executive Director Christopher Zimmer said Friday.

For his part, Stefan Schmitz, president of the business organization, stated the law would help the Philippines in economic recovery.

“To fully realize its potential, we urge the Philippine government to pass the other economic bills, such as the amendments to (the) Foreign Investment Act and Public Service Act as it complements (the) RTLA in further opening up the Philippine economy,” Schmitz added.

The amended version of RTLA reduces the required paid-up capital for foreign retailers to establish shops in the Philippines from $25 million (P125 million) to $500,000 P25 million).

In addition, the GPCCI said the qualification requirements set by the previous law were simplified by removing required net worth, the number of existing retailing branches, and retailing track record conditions.

GPCCI belongs to the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad international network, represented by 140 offices in 92 countries.

GPCCI is the official representation of German businesses in the Philippines, a bilateral membership organization with around 300 members, and a service provider to companies in their market entry and expansion.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez also lauded the passage of the law. He stated, “As we continue our path to recovery, the economic liberalization bills either passed or being considered by our lawmakers will be crucial to bringing in much needed foreign investments that would supercharge the economy and create a lot more jobs for Filipinos, more so at this time when the country is recovering from the pandemic-induced global health and financial crises.”

He added the provisions in the measure would simplify and ease restrictions for foreign retailers that wish to set up shop in the Philippines.
Republic Act 11595 is one of the three investor-friendly measures endorsed by President Duterte and whose passage had been pushed in the Congress by Dominguez and the rest of the Chief Executive’s economic team.

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