Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Delivering Stories of Progress


BritCham sees many silver linings in UK-Phl trade and investment cooperation

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By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios

There’s no denying that the UK and Philippines trade and investment relation is heading to another exciting growth based on the 2023 stellar performance and yielded a £2.9 billion total in trade, a truly impressive result as seen by British Ambassador to the Philippines Laures Beaufils on the 2nd quarter of 2023.

Sharing the same optimism, British Chamber of Commerce Philippines’ Executive Director and Trustee Chris Nelson noted its key priorities and expectations through its 2024 wishlist which includes further opening up of trade, promoting ease of doing business, and highlighting priority areas including agriculture, digitalization, cybersecurity, lowered tariffs, among others.

With the Philippines being the 59th UK largest trading partner, the outlook remains positive that it will be sustained in the succeeding years. Meanwhile, to further boost this growth, Nelson reiterated the need to continue to leverage the country’s position as a growing market in Asia to attract investors in the country.

The British Chamber has supported prior economic legislation including the Retail Trade Act, Foreign Investment Act, and Public Service Act which are significant in attracting foreign investments in the Philippines. The British Chamber supports the recent push for economic provisions in the Philippine constitution and hopes to lift certain restrictions including the negative investment list and the 60-40 rule which limits foreign ownership at 40%.

“Overall, we believe that the charter change would bring in a much quicker response. I would say that we are always advocating for companies to come and do business in the Philippines. It’s an attractive market and it’s also a gateway to Southeast Asia and the only thing that can move and further liberate the economy will be supported,” Nelson further noted.

In its wishlist, it aims to consistently show its support for the UK-PH trade through efficient regulatory practices and policy measures by also strengthening collaboration with the Philippine government agencies, the private sector, and other relevant stakeholders while advocating for public-private partnerships, infrastructure, and green economy.

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