Amendment to foreign investments law sought to boost local startups, SMEs

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A member of the House of Representatives has called for the swift passage of House Bill 8764 amending the Foreign Investments Act of 1991 to boost local SMEs who are employing cutting-edge technologies.

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“I support HB 8764 because it opens up to foreign investments the small and medium enterprises with paid-in equity capital of up to $200,000 — provided that these enterprises involve advanced technology and employ at least 15 direct employees. HB 8764 allows minimum paid-in capital of $100,000 from non-Philippine nationals,” House Banks and Financial intermediaries Committee chair Rep. Henry C. Ong said.

He added that HB 8764 will be a huge boost to Filipino SMEs “because they can now partner with foreign investors, including those that invest in start-ups.”

“I believe HB 8764 will be a catalyst for growth of the SMEs engaged in the creation, development, and rollout of financial technologies and mobile applications for our smartphones and financial inclusion,” Ong, also a member of the House Committee on Economic Affairs, said.

Citing analysis of the National Tax Research Center, “from 2005 to 2016, the Philippines got only 3.62 percent of all the FDI (foreign direct investments) that was poured into Asean. Indonesia got 13.42 percent, Malaysia 9.45 percent, Vietnam 8.7 percent, and Singapore 52.79 percent,” the lawmaker said.

Ong also noted that overseas Filipinos’ remittances from January to October last year of $26.47 billion “were more than three times greater than the foreign direct investments.”


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