Liberalisation on the agenda
The Philippines will dramatically increase the number of business sectors open to foreign ownership in order to compete with its neighbours, the country’s economic planning secretary Ernesto Pernia said last month. “I want to be more aggressive and to be at par with other Asean countries,” Pernia told reporters at a business forum. Every two years, the Philippine government is legally obliged to update the country’s list of foreign ownership restrictions. In 2015, then-President Benigno Aquino III decided against making any radical changes to the list, but Pernia is pushing for sweeping changes this year, which will likely be supported by President Rodrigo Duterte, who has consistently stated his committment to liberalisation.