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PHILIPPINES: Overseas Capital Requirement Cut to US$200,000 for Retail Start-ups

The minimum paid-up capital required for an overseas company to establish a retail business in the Philippines is to be lowered from US$2.5 million to US$200,000 under a proposed amendment to the country’s Retail Trade Liberalisation Act. The change is expected to be enacted as part of a forthcoming revision of the country’s Foreign Investment Negative List (FINL), which is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017.

It is expected that the changes to the FINL will also have an impact well beyond the retail sector. In terms of the construction industry, for instance, it is anticipated that 100% overseas ownership of businesses engaged in the sector will be permitted for the first time. This entitlement, however, will only be extended to those overseas companies with established international reputations.

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