Easing of foreign restrictions tops wish list | Inquirer Business

Easing of foreign restrictions tops wish list

UK envoy meets with candidates Roxas, Poe, Binay, Duterte
By: - Reporter / @amyremoINQ
/ 12:24 AM November 12, 2015

British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad has personally pitched to leading presidential candidates the business community’s wish list, which is topped by the relaxation of foreign ownership restrictions, securing of the sanctity of contracts and continuity of good economic policy reforms.

According to Ahmad, he had dialogues with Vice President Jejomar Binay, former Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Sen. Grace Poe and even Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.


All of them reacted “positively,” he said, as they seemed to have understood the need to further open up the economy.


Ahmad discussed with them the need to trim the Foreign Investment Negative List (FINL), as well as the easing of restrictions on foreign ownership in land and businesses.

He also said it was vital to ensure investor certainty on taxation and deals/contracts that government enters into with the private sector.

Ahmad pointed out that uncertainties are hounding Shell’s Malampaya project, after the Commission on Audit earlier alleged that the government had been shortchanged by the consortium by as much as P53 billion.

When big-ticket projects are threatened by reviews like this, it makes it “extremely difficult” for the investor to pour in additional investments, he said.

“We also talked about the need to have continuity of some of the good economic policies (implemented in this administration) and the need for them to be bold enough to liberalize areas that are restricted and to look carefully at foreign ownership restrictions in land use for instance,” he added.

Addressing these issues is expected to further boost the interest of foreign companies in the Philippines.


Ahmad said he expected bilateral trade and investments between the Philippines and the United Kingdom to grow further as more British firms choose to set up shop here.

“The visibility of the Philippines is much higher because of the good work done by the Philippine government,” he added.

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TAGS: ambassador, Britain, British, Business, economy, Investment, Reform, UK

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