Investment Opportunities in the Philippines

Overview by

Protection of Foreign Investment

Bilateral Investment Conventions Signed By the Philippines
The Philippines have signed bilateral investment agreements with many countries, listed here.
International Controversies Registered By UNCTAD
Two cases are registered with UNCTAD, one involving the Swiss monitoring company SGS and the other involving the German airport constructor Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Service. For further details, see here.
Organizations Offering Their Assistance in Case of Disagreement
PDRCI , Chamber of Commerce Center for conflict resolution
ICCWBO , International court of arbitration, International chamber of commerce
Member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency

Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors

  Philippines East Asia & Pacific United States Germany
Index of Transaction Transparency* 2.0 5.2 7.0 5.0
Index of Manager’s Responsibility** 2.0 4.5 9.0 5.0
Index of Shareholders’ Power*** 8.0 6.3 9.0 5.0
Index of Investor Protection**** 4.0 5.3 8.3 5.0

Source: Doing Business

Note: *The Greater the Index, the More Transparent the Conditions of Transactions. **The Greater the Index, the More the Manager is Personally Responsible. *** The Greater the Index, the Easier it Will Be For Shareholders to Take Legal Action. **** The Greater the Index, the Higher the Level of Investor Protection.

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Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
Not guaranteed.
Acquisition of Holdings
A majority holding interest in the capital of a local company is legal in the Philippines.
Obligation to Declare
The agency for the promotion of foreign investment in the country provides information about the authorizations required for setting up business.
Competent Organization For the Declaration
Philippine Board of Investment
Requests For Specific Authorizations
The sectors open to foreign investment after an authorization has been obtained are listed in Annexe B of the Foreign Investment Act.
Find Investment Service Providers in the Philippines on

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Office Real Estate and Land Ownership

Possible Temporary Solutions
According to the Investors' Lease Act (R.A. 7652, 1994), a foreign investor is authorized to rent private land for 50 years, renewable for a period of 25 years, provided that the land is intended for investment (industrial buildings, factories, companies, tourism, etc.).
The Possibility of Buying Land and Industrial and Commercial Buildings
The Constitution of 1987 forbids foreigners to buy land.
Risk of Expropriation
The law provides for protection against expropriation except for reasons of public interest, national welfare, security/defense against payment of just compensation; and it provides for protection against requisitioning of goods except in case of war or national emergency and against payment of just compensation.

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Investment Aid

Forms of Aid
Exemptions and tax relief, administrative and Customs facilities.
Privileged Domains
Tax incentives (exemptions and tax relief) and non-tax incentives (import facilities, easy family reunification, assistance)


Privileged Geographical Zones
Priority sectors in the 2008 Investment Plan: agriculture, agrobusiness, fishing, infrastructure, tourism, research and development, engineering products, highly technological strategic activities and those creating jobs.
Free Zones
The autonomous region of Mindanao, less developed areas (LDA), "ecozones" under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), and the special economic zones of Subic Bay (SBF), Clark (CSEZ), Cagayan, and Zamboanga (Zamboecozone).
Organizations Which Finance
Export Financing Institution

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Investment Opportunities

The Key Sectors of the National Economy
Services (transport, communications, storage), export of expert know-how (IT services consultant, IT, engineering).
High Potential Sectors
Gold and copper industries
Privatization Programs
The energy sector, retail trade
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Tenders Info, Tenders in the Philippines
Asian Development Bank, Procurement Plans in Asia
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide

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Sectors Where Investment Opportunities Are Fewer

Monopolistic Sectors
The "Negative List" gives the economic sectors reserved entirely or partially for nationals. Among others there are: mass media, the retail trade, advertising, public services.
Sectors in Decline
The agricultural and mining sectors

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