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Philippines eases Asia's toughest FDI rules with new retail entry law

Backers say move boosts competition while critics call it 'industry killer'

A shopping mall in Manila. Philippines' retail sector is dominated by local players, such as family-owned conglomerates SM Investments and Gokongwei Group's Robinsons Retail Holdings. (Photo by Kimberly Dela Cruz)

MANILA -- The Philippines is set to start relaxing some of Asia's toughest foreign investment restrictions, beginning with easing of entry rules for foreign retailers.

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