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BritCham keeps bullish outlook on UK-Phl trade

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The British Chamber of Commerce Philippines (BCCP) gave a positive outlook of the bilateral trade between the UK and the Philippines despite present global economic challenges and reiterated its advocacy on the ease of doing business and key legislation to further boost its bilateral partnership and the overall Philippine economic growth.

In a recent joint interview with UK Ambassador to the Philippines Laure Beaufils and BCCP Executive Director/Trustee Chris Nelson, both remain optimistic on the economic opportunities through exploring partnerships that are beneficial to both countries. As noted by Beaufils, current geopolitical tensions affecting global trade further opens the potential for collaboration in diversifying the economy. Meanwhile, Nelson also highlighted the British Chamber’s efforts in partnering with the government and the private sector to leverage the opportunities available to foreign investors.

Nelson reiterated the significance of certain key legislation and government’s initiatives on the ease of doing business, he stated, “If I look at the Philippine-UK trade, it’s at an all-time high–we are up to almost £3 billion. I think that actually shows a very robust level. Now in terms of pitfalls, again I’d be very specific to the Philippines, what we are constantly pushing for along with other business groups and the government itself, is to improve the ease of doing business and to further remove economic barriers.”

The British Chamber has been actively working with the Anti-Red Tape Authority and eyes on signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 25 March 2024 to strengthen its commitment to collaborating with the government in providing a conducive business environment through streamlining business processes to attract strategic investments. Nelson emphasized other key priorities including the passage of the Anti-Agricultural Economic Sabotage Act–with the UK and the Philippines both having a strong agricultural sector, which is crucial in fighting against inflation and promoting fair market practices that protect the local farmers and consumers.

Further echoing President Marcos’ key legislation priorities, the British Chamber also supports the passage of the Cybersecurity Act to strengthen the country’s cybersecurity infrastructure and resilience, noting the potential to collaborate with the UK as one of the key major actors in cybersecurity excellence. Lastly, Nelson encouraged businesses to explore investment partnerships between the UK through the Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) and the recent participation of the Philippines to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in driving the country as an investment destination in the region.

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