The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) is supportive of the move to further open retail trade to foreign companies.
However, PCC commissioner Johannes Bernabe said that lawmakers should provide a transitory period that would give local micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) some time to adjust to increased foreign competition.
Under the Retail Trade Liberalization Act passed more than two decades ago, foreign retailers can only enter the Philippine market if their paid-up capital investment is at least $2.5 million, leaving an exclusive space for Filipino retailers in MSMEs.[READ: Reforms pushed to attract more FDI, local retailers oppose RTLA]
That space, however, might get smaller as lawmakers sought to lower the threshold to either $300,000 or $200,000, depending on which version of the bill would be passed. Local business leaders feared this might come at the expense of local MSMEs.
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