Gov't to review foreign investment negative list

Posted at 02/19/2013 7:27 PM

Lifting of economic restrictions in Constitution ruled out

MANILA, Philippines - Economic managers have agreed to review the Regular Foreign Investment Negative List (FNL), which identifies investment areas and activities which are reserved for Filipino nationals, and which areas can be opened to foreign investors.

In a statement, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo said they have agreed to consult stakeholders in the review of the "negative list".

However, Purisima said there will be no review of the economic restrictions in the Constitution.

"We will not be reviewing lifting economic restrictions in the constitution. That is currently off the table. Limiting the items on the FINL will allow the Philippines to be more connected to the global economy, which will result in more business and employment for Filipinos," he said.

For his part, Balisacan said the Philippines need to enhance the competitiveness of key sectors to ensure it can benefit from the ASEAN integration in 2015.

Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo said the review of the list would help the country attract more foreign direct investments.

"This process is a crucial step to attract more foreign investments that will create more quality jobs for our people and strengthen our country’s trade negotiations strategy," Domingo said.

The NEDA, DTI, and DOF will begin consultations with national government agencies, Congress, business groups, and other industry leaders.  After the consultations, the results will be submitted to the President.

The Foreign Investment Negative List is updated regularly, with the latest list issued in October 2012. A new version of the list is out every 2 years. The next version due in 2014.