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Foreign investment in the Philippines – Follow the $.

While still below most of its ASEAN peers (Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore) foreign direct investment (FDI) to the Philippines has steadily grown over the past three years, reaching a record high of around USD8bn in 2016. 2017 however, FDI fell off the cliff... Net FDI as of July was less than USD4bn, down 16.5% YTD y-o-y. More strikingly, total new equity investments (new FDI)  are down 81.5% YTD y-o-y..Chalk that up to a general investor aversion to the shock and awe tactics employed by the current administration among other factors... To its credit, the Duterte Administration is aiming to lift some administrative restrictions on FDI by the end of the year through a revised FINL. These revisions would be “more aggressive” than before to be on par with the rest of ASEAN..

To put things in context..thus far in 2017:

Indonesia saw net FDI of circa $8bn and growing (2x as much as the Philippines and probably the closest comparable)
India circa $9bn and growing (non ASEAN but an emerging market comparable nonetheless)
Thailand circa $12bln
Singapore clocked in around $22bn

I should note that while FDI is just one of the barometers of growth, it is an important gauge of how business friendly a nation is perceived to be by institutional money and ultimately will affect asset prices in the nation. Clearly, Philippines has a lot of catching up to do to be considered a desirable investment destination in the neighborhood.

Is there any minimum investment requirements for a small business to start in Philippines?
If anyone knows please provide information
Thanks

If more than 30% of your revenue is derived from local market, then your company is considered a domestic market enterprise. Paid up capital of USD 200k is required to incorporate and 60/40 ownership.  Also foreigners are generally not allowed to engage in retail business (as this is reserved for Filipinos), unless they are investing $2.5 million. (this is my understanding based on a quick Web search.)

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