PH should open up economy to more foreign players, EU says

The European Union has urged the Philippines to make good use of the country’s strong competition policy in place by opening its economy to more foreign players.

According to EU Ambassador to the PhilippinesFranz Jessen, the Philippines should relax foreign restrictions and let the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) handle uncompetitive and unfair market practices.

“The Philippines should take more advantage of opening up the economy now that there is already an overarching agency that will ensure a competitive market,” Jessen said during the Competition Forum organized by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP).

“Over two years ago, the Philippines enacted the Philippine Competition Law and just recently, the PCC finished its two-year transitory period. In the short span of time that the PCC was established, it had made strides in educating its stakeholders of the importance of competition to the economy, has studied quite a number of cases and continues to learn from other economies, including the EU, on the proper way of implementing a sound and strong competition policy,” he added.

Last year, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered for eased restrictions on investment areas with limited foreign participation, saying that this would lead to more investments that will spur faster economic growth.

Foreign and local business groups have also long been calling to relax foreign restrictions in the country, citing reasons that this will help in promoting healthy competition which would drive businesses to operate more efficiently, resulting in better quality and more competitively priced products and services for the public.

Jessen also reiterated the importance of a competition policy, saying that this ensures low prices and better quality and helps local businesses be able to go against global competitors.

“The EU and the EU business community is one with the Philippines in building competitive culture. Competition drives our economies to achieve more; to be more productive and to innovate,” Jessen said.