Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte has said he is open to increasing foreign ownership in business corporations in the country.
He said: “I can be comfortable with 70-30 per cent” – he gave his intention of seeking a higher percentage of foreign ownership at a business forum in Makati several months before his election win.
A constitutional convention would be needed to change the 1987 Philippine Constitution involving foreign investments. Today only 40 per cent ownership is allowed under the Philippines declaration.
Foreigners have long sought interest in owning property, real estate and other ventures related to owning land in the Philippines. Duterte has said he is not comfortable in selling land to foreigners or foreign corporations.
He said: “Businessmen are interested to know if they can own land here. Maybe for manufacturing, I can lease the land, and even for agricultural venture, but I am not keen about selling land. I am not comfortable.”
The incoming president spoke on allowing renewable leases on land for a period of 40 years – but also said that if that foreign corporation leaves the country, the property cannot pass onto another corporation.
Business Islands in the Philippines
Duterte also said he is keen on creating what he calls “Business Islands,” something he hopes would encourage more investors into the country.
Those island would fall under a lease agreement with the corporation and the Philippines government – the islands would directly be marketed and built with specific businesses in mind.
When questioned about the integrity of the Philippines’ territorial issues, Duterte said: “I see nothing wrong in leasing some of the country’s islands to investors because the policy would not violate the Philippines’ territorial principles.”