The Philippines’ 12th Regular Foreign Investment Negative List was issued in June 2022, providing foreign investors with greater access to the Filipino economy.

The changes reflect the country’s desire to liberalize the investment environment and ably compete with neighbors in the fast-growing ASEAN economy.

On June 27, 2022, then-president Rodrigo Duterte signed an executive order promulgating the Philippines’ Twelfth Regular Foreign Investment Negative List (RFINL). The negative list provides an update to regulations and specifications governing foreign investment in the Philippines.

The publication and updating of the RFINL are mandated under the Foreign Investment Act of 1991. Specifically, the list is mandated to cover investment areas that are open to foreign investors and/or reserved for Filipino nationals.

The issuing of the RFINL was well received with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) commending the government’s continued relaxation of restrictions.

The RFINL is split into two areas – List A and List B. List A enumerates the areas of activities that are subject to foreign equity restrictions under the Philippine Constitution and specific laws. Meanwhile, List B contains areas of activity that are restricted for reasons of security, defense, the risk to health and morals, as well as for the protection of small-and medium-scale enterprises.

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This article was first published by AseanBriefing which is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assists foreign investors throughout Asia from offices across the world, including in in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, India, and Russia. Readers may write to [email protected]

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ASEAN Briefing features business news, regulatory updates and extensive data on ASEAN free trade, double tax agreements and foreign direct investment laws in the region. Covering all ASEAN members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam)

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