Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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BritCham alarmed by escalating tensions in Middle East

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The British Chamber of Commerce Philippines cited potential impacts of the rising regional tension in the Middle East on businesses–affecting oil prices, stock market and interest rates. It also remains wary of the impact that may affect inflation and supply in the Philippines.

The tension in the region has caused significant impact due to increased costs and delays from trade rerouting. BCCP Executive Director/Trustee Chris Nelson highlighted local issues that may be affected and opportunities for increased partnership with the UK.

“I would just reiterate that inflation is a key concern in many countries. I would say that the UK is working hard with the Philippines on the supply chain. As we have discussed before on the supply of meat, particularly pork. In that context, we would once again say that we would like to see the complete implementation of Executive Order 50 and no alteration of approach on the minimum access volume which could reduce supply and potentially have an impact on inflation,” as stated by Nelson.

The British Chamber has consistently pushed for the extension of lowered tariff rates as mandated by Executive Order No. 50–citing its significance on the growing bilateral trade between the UK and the Philippines which has grown up to £3 billion in terms of total goods and services. Meanwhile, it also noted concerns on the reported plan of suspending the minimum access volume for pork, disallowing meat importers to bring commodities within the in-quota rate of duty, potentially impacting pork prices going up–with inflation rate recorded at 3.7% in March 2024 from 3.4% in February the same year.

Nelson also expressed interest in discussing the impacts of the regional tension and the overall key economic challenges at the upcoming Global Annual Conference 2024 along with British businesses and the wider Chamber Network. The British Chamber reiterated its commitment to partnering with the government to boost trade growth in the Philippines and globally.

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