Mindanao Times

Lower required capital for foreign firms opposed


MANILA -- Local retailers are against moves to reduce the minimum required investment for foreign companies seeking to locate in the country, in a bid to protect micro, small and medium enterprise­s from big multinatio­nals.

“Because we don’t want to hurt the micro retailers so we are against the USD250,000 threshold,” Philippine Retailers Associatio­n (PRA) president Rosemarie Ong told reporters on the sidelines of the 21st Outstandin­g Filipino Retailers Awards (OFRA) Thursday night.

Ong pointed out that foreign retailers intending to enter the Philippine market “have very deep pockets”.

“(So) if you are inviting more foreign investors, it has to have a high capital investment in the country,” she added.

There are moves in Congress to repeal Republic Act No. 8762, or the Retail Trade Liberaliza­tion Act of 2000, to bring down the minimum paid-up capital for foreign firms engaged in retail trade business to USD250,000 from USD2.5 million.

Meanwhile, Ong remains optimistic about the continued growth of the retail industry.

“Retail has been the major contributo­r to the country’s GDP (gross domestic product). Definitely, we are all bullish and we are expecting continuous growth for retail because the Philippine­s is a consumptio­n-driven economy and we really value the healthy consumptio­n of the Filipinos,” she said.

Ong said her group is working to raise the standards of retailing in the country to become globally competitiv­e.

During the awards night, Penshoppe was conferred with the Retailer of the Year award, while Jollibee Foods Corp. founder and chairman Tony Tan Caktiong with the 2019 PRA President’s Award.

Other awardees were: CLN - E-Commerce Excellence; Levi’s - Outstandin­g Marketing Campaign; Penshoppe - Outstandin­g Visual Merchandis­ing Campaign; Commonweal­th PH -Most Promising Retailer of the Year; Metro Retail (Visayas) - Regional Retailer of the Year; Robinsons Supermarke­t - Supermarke­t of the Year; and SM Center Las Pinas (small category), Megaworld Uptown Mall (medium category) and SM Megamall (large category) - Shopping Center of the Year. (PNA)

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