BiSEA Roadshow, April 8-16:
PH to explore business opportunities with UK
Text and Photo By Monsi A. Serrano
Amid the Brexit impasse, the Philippines is out to explore business opportunities with the United Kingdom and no less than the head of the British Chamber of Commerce Philippines (BCCP) said the country has a better chance at success over its Southeast Asian neighbors.
Last Friday, BCCP Executive Chairman Chris Nelson announced at its office in Taguig City the schedule for the British in Southeast Asia (BiSEA) roadshow 2019 from April 8 to April 16.
This year, the roadshow will engage about 100-120 British firms in Birmingham, London, Cardiff, Manchester, Glasgow, Sheffield, and Durham.
PH advantage seen – BCCP
It is the fifth time for the Philippines to participate in the BiSEA. Nelson believes that the Philippines will have the upperhand over its Southeast neighbors in enticing companies in the UK to look at investing in Filipino enterprises.
While the BiSEA will also be participated in by other British chambers of commerce in the region, he does any reason for the Philippines to feel threatened since the spirit of the roadshow is mutual support. The aspect of competition is inevitable, but the Philippines will certainly benefit from the roadshow process, he said.
Nelson said the Philippines can focus on its strengths such as excellent communication skills in the English language, a competitive advantage over other Southeast Asian countries.
Brexit opens opportunities
While the Brexit spooks various businesses in the UK, it can be seen as an opportunity for the Philippines to leverage on the advantages Filipinos can offer, he said.
Based on the batting average of the BCCP since first joining the roadshow four years ago, 2,ooo companies have been introduced to the Philippines as a result of the BiSEA roadshow.
Through the years when BCCP joined the roadshow, Mr. Nelson revealed his experience that among 10 interested parties, only two would eventually push through with their business here. However, with the Ease of Doing Business Law now in place, this will spell a big difference for the Philippines, making it more attractive to companies in the UK.
BCCP brings positive change
Nelson admitted that the Philippines was not the primary market for UK in the past. But with the efforts exerted by BCCP under his leadership, this has been changed and opportunities in the Philippines are now being explored with serious interest.
Expected industries that will look into the Philippines as a hot investment destination are education, business consultancy, engineering, healthcare, and energy which are small-to-medium sized companies.
At the same time, the BCCP chairman said he is targeting to attract inbound investment and strengthen bilateral trade relations.
Interestingly, the seventy percent (70%) leads that BCCP got, came from the roadshows in 2018.
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