By Monsi A. Serrano
With the active participation of British Chamber of Commerce Philippines in promoting our country to the United Kingdom, the interest of British companies in the Philippines is growing and will continue to grow, according to the BCCP Executive Director and Trustee Chris Nelson.
Speaking to THEPHILBIZNEWS, Mr. Nelson explained that over the last five years, the BCCP has been able to assist more than 2,350 British companies. And just in 2019, the chamber was able to assist more 200 companies.
One of the key factors that make the Philippines known as investment hub is the active participation of the BCCP in roadshows to the UK which happens twice a year. The roadshows pave way to meet 100 companies that have expressed strong interest to invest in the Philippines.
Strong sectors are in food retail, infrastructure, and education and training. But the Executive Director of BCCP wants to expand the interest of other sectors such as healthcare and business consultancy; as well as manufacturing, energy, and environment through various events.
“The Philippines will remain in the eyes on the British companies who are looking at expanding in the Southeast Asia region. We are really working hard to ensure that they will take a look at the Philippines as their primary destination,” Nelson added.
CITIRA (Tax incentives)
While BCCP primarily deals with SMEs who initially will not go into the PEZA zone but having a significant number of members in the PEZA zones, the chamber hopes that by 2020 a viable compromise must be reached between existing investors doing business in PEZA and the government.
The BCCP further acknowledged that the PEZA investors contribute significantly to the economic development of the Philippines and the same sentiments are shared by foreign chambers.
“Improved ranking of the Philippines in the ease of doing business is a welcome development. If this would be further sustained through the years, the Philippines will become a haven for investors in the region,” the BCCP Executive Director explained.
“So many exciting developments happening now that would encourage foreigners to invest, and one of them was the passage of the bill amending the Retail Trade Liberalization Act. Also the bill has been filed in the Senate proposing to bring down the minimum paid-up capital for foreign firms engaged in the retail trade business would surely entice even small investors, and this is what Philippines needs more investors. More investors would have more job opportunities,” Nelson underscored.
British Chamber in 2020
When asked what are the plans of BCCP for 2020, the chamber will continue to work with partnership with various groups such as UK-ASEAN Business Council, Great Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce and Scottish Chambers of Commerce to widen the network of the British Chamber of Commerce Philippines.
With the strong relationship with the Philippine Embassy in London and British Embassy in Manila, the chamber maintain this relationship and will continue to collaborate with them, keep open communication and follow up opportunities in the Philippines and other government programs.
Just like in the past years, the BCCP will intensify its efforts to promote trade and investment using various activities such as webinars on various topics to help companies understand the Philippine business landscape, different industry trends and market opportunities in the Philippines.
Consultations with various government agencies such as the Department of Trade and Industry, Board of Investment, Department of Energy, Department of Finance and others will continue.
“The British Chamber of Commerce has currently 300 plus strong members and we will continue to welcome those companies who want to be part of us and work with us in making the Philippines a strong country, not only in 2020 but beyond,” Nelson concluded.
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