Philippines’ FDI restrictions put off foreign investors

Author: Brian Yap | Published: 19 Apr 2017

The Philippines has seen a record inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country, but a wide scope of foreign ownership-restricted sectors has discouraged some foreign businesses from investing.

Registering a 6.4 percent GDP growth in the first quarter of this year, the second highest among southeast Asian countries, the country recorded $7.93 billion in net FDI last year compared to $5.64 billion the year before, according to March data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Philipinas (BSP).

But counsel involved in cross-border transactions in the country point to very strict procurement laws for large infrastructure projects run by the government. They argue that these laws can lead to challenges in terms of quickly and accurately getting a project off the ground.

"The uncertainty of the procurement process can be very difficult and has, we believe, kept a number of investors from making commitments to large...