ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
PHL to release new foreign investment ‘negative list’ before end of 2017
The Philippines is now expected to release a "drastically" shorter foreign investment negative list (FINL) later this year, a delay from its earlier scheduled August launch, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said Thursday.
In an interview with reporters on the sidelines of the Arangkada Philippines Forum 2017, Pernia told reporters the government now expects to release an update FINL—a comprehensive list of activities And sectors where foreign participation is prohibited—before the end of the year.
"I want a more aggressive liberalization because they have shown me a draft and I find it too puny in terms of changes. I want it more aggressive and we have to be at par with other ASEAN [nations]," he said in Pasay City.
According to Pernia, among the sectors he wants removed from the list are the retail trade, professions, public utilities, and contractor sectors.
"They thought it cannot be achieved. We have to be more aggressive, so it is being revised right now. The final form will be more aggressive and it will be more closer to the ASEAN," he said.
"There are many things and they are increasing it from 40 to 60 [percent foreign participation] and I said bring it up to 100 percent," he added.
Pernia also noted that the education sector must be opened up to foreign participation to be able to improve the world rankings of Philippine universities.
"The reason why our universities are not highly rated is because we do not allow foreign professors to teach and be paid, get an item, which is already standard in other countries," he said.
In the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018 released earlier this month, the University of the Philippines is the only Philippine university which made it on the list.
Looking ahead, Pernia said the government will be consulting with various offices and agencies regarding the matter, and will be expecting their input before the end of September.
"We want it done with all the comments of the agencies by the end of this month," he said.
Pernia said the draft will be presented before President Rodrigo R. Duterte during the next NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority) Board Meeting. While the meeting has no tentative schedule so far, Pernia said it will be before the end of the year.
"We just finished one so I cannot tell you when the next one is... It [FINL] will have to go through the NEDA Board first," he said. — BM, GMA News
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