THE British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (BCCP) has urged the government to hasten the implementation of the ease of doing business (EoDB) law.
“Obviously, we are hoping that it is done as soon as possible because the point of that act was to set standards,” BCCP Chairman Christopher J. Nelson said in a briefing in Makati City last week.
“EoDB, whenever I have gone to the UK, has been one of the key questions. We 100% support the act. We would like to see the head appointed and obviously that agency to take off,” he added.
The EoDB penalizes government officials who fail to complete “simple,” “complex” and “highly technical” transactions set with a deadline of three, seven and 20 days, respectively.
Apart from the EoDB, the chamber is also in support of the retail liberalization bill which lowers the threshold of the minimum $2.5-million capital requirement for foreign investors to wholly own a retail establishment.
“Even after the election is over, I think the existing Congress will still be there for three weeks. There is still a three-week legislative window, so the hope is that act well could pass. I think it is more of the message that is being sent, and that is that the British Chamber, along with the other foreign chambers, we want to see a lot more foreign investment. We want to see and encourage that,” Mr. Nelson added.
The BCCP plans to hold this year its third annual trade and investment mission outside the capital, possibly in Clark, Pampanga.
“We are currently looking at Clark. The reason we are trying to do this is it coincides with the government’s 10-point plan,” Mr. Nelson said, noting that Clark is receiving great interest from investors due to intensive promotion by the government.
The BCCP trade mission first went outside Metro Manila in 2017 in Davao. Last year’s event was held in Iloilo.
Mr. Nelson noted the group, which has at least 288 member companies, has received inquiries from 2,000 companies in the past four years. The group helps bring British firms closer to possible business opportunities in the Philippines.
“We have seen those companies actually grow in terms of their exports or doing business here. We would like to see a lot more,” Mr. Nelson said. — Janina C. Lim