When the Philippines Congress passed Republic Act No. 8762 was in 2000. The law raises the minimum capital requirement for retail operations and requires local participation in ownership either on the onset or after 8 years through a stock or sale offering. The aim was to assist local retailers from multinational companies entering into the market.
Now nearly 20 years on there are several bills in Congress to either repeal Republic Act No. 8762 or to pass a law that in effect cancels its effects. The regulations would make business registration easier for retailers and reduce the capital requirements to only USD 250,000.00 down from the $2.5 Million. The arguments being made; that the law is preventing the Philippines from accessing FDI and convincing foreign businesses from investing in the local market.
This move would certainly encourage more businesses to come to the Philippines as local business groups have been ramping up their requests for this law. (https://www.philstar.com/business/2019/10/01/1956275/british-business-group-pushes-changes-retail-trade-liberalization)
The other question is to the effect of these laws with the rise of e-commerce. Today a local consumer can purchase a good from anywhere in the world, and Lazada or Amazon will bring it to them the next day. In this new 2020 reality of how consumers purchase goods will restricting retailers have any affect. Whatever the coming laws on retail liberalisation take shape in the Philippines over the next years, one thing is clear; more choices are a benefit to consumers, always.
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