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BCCP Executive Chairman, Mr. Chris Nelson welcoming participants and distinguished guests UK Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce, DTI Assistant Secretary Angelo Taningco, Department of Finance Undersecretary Karl Chua, and renowned economist Dr. Bernie Villegas
Photo From THEPHILBIZNEWS/Monsi A. Serrano

By Monsi A. Serrano

The British Chamber of Commerce Philippines successfully launched the 2019 Philippine Business Outlook Briefing last January 30 at the Dust Thani Manila.

During the formal opening, BCCP Executive Chairman Chris Nelson welcomed the participants and distinguished guests who on the latter part of the program gave their respective insights to what we can expect in the Philippines in 2019.

Mr. Nelson, also narrated how the BCCP and the government have been closely working together to bring in more business opportunities to the Philippines. Last year, the BCCP came up with several trade missions that paved the way for more business prospects for the Philippines from the UK. |

Apart from this, “The Chamber is still in the process of negotiations with other UK companies and we are confident all of these would turn out positive”, the Chairman of BCCP added.

Currently, there are about 60 companies from the UK that are already operating in the Philippines and these are in Food, Education, Retail to name a few. The BCCP is committed to promote trade investment and see also other opportunities from the Philippine to the UK, and vice versa.

There were several important topics that were discussed during the 2019 Philippine Business Outlook Briefing such as positive economic growth forecast given all the external challenges, the sustained infrastructure spending with the Build, Build, Build program, the impact and sentiment of investors and public on TRAIN Law and Ease of Doing Business Law, improvements in health, education and social services, and many more.

Distinguished speakers shared their candid appreciation of what is happening and suggested how to handle these challenges and expected uncertainties in the year 2019.

His Excellency UK Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce, as inevitable briefly talked about the BREXIT. But the focal point of his talk was about the relationship between the UK and the Philippines on trade and investment.

Ambassador Pruce also gave a statement extending his deep sympathy on behalf of the United Kingdom about the bombing that happened in Jolo, Sulu last week.

The UK Ambassador also pointed out the influence of the UK to the Philippines based on the companies that expand their business in the country and he was delighted to notice these brands and names being patronized by the Filipinos.

“The United Kingdom’s sentiment and interest on the Philippines’ business opportunity remain positive and this is manifested on the more than £1B British investment in the Philippines, and the UK remains the leading European investor in the Philippines”, UK Ambassador Pruce revealed.

DTI Assistant Secretary Angelo Taningco explained how the Philippine economy a Bright Spot in Asia and 2nd fastest-growing ASEAN economy in 2018.  While the Department of Finance Undersecretary Karl Chua shared the data on how the Philippines remains one of the BEST PERFORMING ECONOMIES in the region and its OUTLOOK IS STRONG.

Chua also said how the present administration is addressing the issue of inflation and one of the most recent moves was the rice tariffication and improve the agricultural sector as this will temper inflation. The rising investors’ confidence in the Philippines that reached US$10.B in 2017 and hoping to surpass this in 2019 and also the tax implications and the usage of the proceed to fund the government.

Last but not least was Dr. Bernie Villegas who gave his equally valuable input on the 2019 Business Outlook.

The renowned economist agreed to the two distinguished speakers from the government, DTI Assistant Secretary Taningco and Finance Undersecretary Chua, and also with the UK Ambassador Pruce on the imminent global uncertainties this 2019.

The uncertainties identified are possible recession in the US, major slowdown global economic, uncertainty in BREXIT, the slowdown in China’s economy.

However, Dr. Villegas gave his piece on mind on the palpable preference of the current administration to China government and cautioned the Duterte administration “Not to put all the eggs in China’s basket, but to balance between China and other Asian economies like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and ASEAN neighbors.”

There are so many opportunities for the Philippine Economy amidst uncertainties and some of the things that Economist mentioned is that the Philippines is among the fastest rising emerging markets, while developed countries have an aging labor force and demographic crisis, we have a young, growing, and English-speaking population enough to compete to the global community.

After the event, many participants felt that time was not enough and they all look forward to another wonderful and educational event from the BCCP.

The Philippine Business and News is a proud media partner of the British Chamber of Commerce Philippines (BCCP)

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