Senate ratifies bicam on retail trade

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By Business World

The Senate on Monday ratified the Bicameral Conference Committee report on a measure that seeks to lower the minimum investment hurdle for foreign retailers to P25 million.

Senators approved the Bicameral Conference Committee report on the conflicting provisions of Senate Bill No. 1840 and House Bill No. 59, which amends the 20-year-old Retail Trade Liberalization Act. This is one of the three priority economic measures being pushed by the government and foreign business groups.

The House of Representatives has yet to ratify the bicameral report as of Monday. Once approved, it will be sent to Malacañang for President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s signature.

Under the reconciled version, the minimum paid-up capital requirement for foreign retailers was set at P25 million or around $500,000, with a per store requirement of P10 million. This is lower than existing law’s minimum paid-up requirement of $2.5 million or P125 million for foreign retailers.

The House version originally proposed lowering the minimum paid-up capital requirement to P10 million, while Senate version had approved a P50-million requirement.

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