|MANILA, Philippines – World’s giant retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has renewed its interest to put up an operation in the country signaling the country’s attractiveness in the retail sector as consumer spending grows fueled by the strong overseas Filipino workers.Board of Investments managing head Cristino L. Panlilio said Wal-Mart company officials called on him as early as last year signifying its interest to invest in the country.
“They made a call,” Panlilio said. There was no update yet since then.
Panlilio said that Wal-Mart could at least invest P200 million under the Retail Trade Liberalization Act or R.A. 8762.Wal-Mart’s interest in the Philippines started even as early as during the term of then President Joseph Estrada, whose Trade and Industry Secretary Jose T. Pardo divulged the American retailer’s interest in the country.Wal-Mart was even reported at that time to be in talks with cash-strapped Uniwide Group of Companies and was just awaiting the results of its evaluation before the parties enter into formal talks for possible cooperation.
There were also reports that Wal-Mart was talking with Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. for a possible distribution arrangement. However, nothing came out from those negotiations.By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat, Manila Bulletin Online, Business Section, March 18, 2011