THE German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI) recently welcomed the passage of the amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act (RTLA), or Republic Act (RA) 11595, which simplifies and eases restrictions for foreign retailers who wish to establish presence in the Philippines.
The signed law amends certain provisions of the RTLA of 2000 (RA 8762), which lowers the capitalization requirements for foreign ownerships from $2.5 million (P125 million) down to around $500,000 (P25 million).
“We welcome the enactment of this landmark reform,” says GPCCI Executive Director Christopher Zimmer. “As the law addresses 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.”
Furthermore, the qualification requirements set by the previous law were also simplified by removing required net worth, the number of existing retailing branches, and retailing track-record conditions. The law also asks the Department of Trade and Industry as well as the National Economic and Development Authority to review the required minimum paid-up capital every three years.
“The passage of the RTLA is a step in the right direction toward the economic recovery of the country,” says GPCCI President Stefan Schmitz. “To fully realize its potential, we urge the Philippine government to pass the other economic bills, such as the amendments to Foreign Investment Act and Public Service Act, as [they complement] the RTLA in further opening up the Philippine economy.”
The GPCCI belongs to the international network of German chambers of Commerce Abroad, or AHKs, represented by 140 offices in 92 countries. GPCCI is the official representation of German businesses in the Philippines, which is a bilateral membership organization with around 300 members, as well as a service provider to companies in their market entry and expansion.