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BritCham: Economic reforms to spur sustained growth in UK-Phl bilateral trade

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By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios

After a palpable post-pandemic recovery, British Chamber sees implementation of the economic reforms will be the key to sustain the UK-Philippine bilateral trade and increase investments from the UK amid global economic pressures

British Chamber of Commerce Executive Director and Trustee Chris Nelson said, “We will continue collaborating with various stakeholders in liberalizing trade to boost presence of British companies in the Philippines.”

Nelson underscored that the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act, extension of the lowered tariffs, digitalization which will pave the way for improving the ease of doing business will significantly spur Philippines’ economic growth and competitiveness.

While admitting that the interest rate and global challenges drive some investments considerations, Nelson vowed to increase interest and widen the prospects for the UK-Philippine bilateral trade relations through some UK companies across various industries.

The industries that Nelson mentioned that expressed strong potential are business outsourcing sectors, consumer goods in the retail sectors such as food and beverage, energy, cybersecurity, among others that would likely come to the Philippines.

“The BCCP is pushing for opening up more of the economic reforms which such as easing of foreign restrictions and at the same time the ease of doing business,” he said.

DCTS impact to be seen in the coming years

While the all time high of £2.9 billion total in trade was recorded for 2023, Nelson clarified that the UK’s Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) which offers lower tariffs and simpler rules of origin requirements for exporting has not contributed yet here since it was just introduced last June 2023.

But Nelson sees that the DCTS’s impact in the trade growth will be seen in the coming years as this will benefit the export sectors looking at the UK market.

Nelson noted that the need to educate the global market about the DCTS and its benefits will eventually come into fruition.

“The impact of DCTS takes time, but hopefully sooner. But what I think is more important is the existing stronger trade. The (UK) embassy is now talking to the farmers and business sectors to bring the trade to another level and we all know that the relationship between the two countries is very strong and on trade and investment can go stronger through the years,” Nelson said.

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