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BritCham expects closer and deeper Phl-UK cooperation

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By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios

Capitalizing on the record-high trade result between the Philippines and United Kingdom, the British Chamber of Commerce Philippines (BCCP) expresses optimism in this year’s UK-Philippines trade relations.

In his interview, BCCP Executive Director/Trustee Chris Nelson Nelson also welcomed the recent signing of the extension of lowered tariffs for agricultural commodities including meat of swine last December 22, 2023, mandating its extension until the end of 2024.

The British Chamber has consistently supported the extension and believed it strengthens the market potential of British pork exports in the Philippines not to mention that it also addressed the shortage of pork and supported the local meat processing companies in the Philippines.

It is also interesting to note that the Philippines is the second largest pork export market in Asia next to China, with meat and meat preparations reaching a value of £48.5 million last October 2023.

In line with this, Nelson also added the British Chamber’s optimism on the passage of the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act that will help the Philippines in strengthening the agricultural productivity and competitiveness to protect farmers from hoarders, smugglers, and profiteers–with the looming challenge of El Niño (ASF). This will also uphold fair market practices in the country that protect consumers from high and unreasonable prices.

“The trade between the UK and the Philippines is at an all high with £2.9 billion total in trade. It’s also the 77th year of the UK’s relations with the Philippines and at the British Chamber, we are looking towards establishing long-term relations. In terms of trying to accelerate businesses, we are strong supporters of anti-red tape in improving the ease of doing business considering that we have been working with SMEs and MSMEs,” Nelson added.

In its 2024 wishlist, the British Chamber remains committed to establishing partnerships and collaborations with government agencies and the private sector in further liberalizing trade to increase British presence in the country. It also looks forward to assisting UK SMEs and other British companies–through a targeted approach to multiple sectors including renewable energy, food and beverage, and cybersecurity among others. The British Chamber will continue to advocate for green investments, infrastructure development, and public-private partnership to boost the Philippines’ goal of becoming a leading investment hub in the region.

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