PHL-UK trade ties tightened through economic briefing

Minister of State Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP and Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno

THE United Kingdom welcomed members of the Philippine economic team during their official visit to London on January 25 and 26.

The British Embassy-Manila considers the timing of the visit as auspicious, as the two countries’ bilateral relationship is strengthening, and British private-sector interest in the Philippines continues to grow.

The Filipino delegation was led by Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, accompanied by Budget and Management Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, Bangko Sentral Governor Felipe Medalla, Socioeconomic Planning Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Rosemarie Edillon, and Treasurer Rosalia de Leon.

They were joined by the embassy’s deputy head of mission Alistair White.

The Philippine Economic Briefing was held on January 26 at London’s UBS Auditorium, with a 250-strong audience of members of the British private sector. The gathering signaled the strength of interest in the Philippines from the UK.

UK-Asean Business Council chair Lord Edward Vaizey gave the opening remarks.

The British prime minister’s trade envoy Richard Graham, CMG, MP mentioned significant investments made by UK companies last month, including the €260-million purchase of Don Papa Rum by Diageo.

Both officials highlighted the importance of the Philippines as a partner to the UK in the region.

Graham said: “British businesses are increasingly viewing the Philippines as an exciting place to be exporting and investing. In this respect, this event is very timely, and I know that many of the businesses [listened] with interest to the plans and priorities that will be shared. We look forward to working with our partners in the Philippines to identify key areas where we can collaborate to grow investments and exports both ways.”

The economic team attended the Asia House Annual Outlook, visited the London Stock Exchange, and met with investors to discuss opportunities for UK investors and exporters in key sectors of mutual interest.

Aside from Graham, the Filipino team also met with Minister of State Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; Minister for Exports Andrew Bowie MP of the Department for International Trade.

Key priorities on growing interests in commerce, climate, technology and defense were discussed, building on UK-Philippines Enhanced Partnership announced in 2021.

For the embassy, the visit was an important moment for trade relations between both countries, as bilateral trade has reverted to prepandemic levels of £2.1 billion.

For her part, Ambassador Laure Beaufils remarked: “This opportunity comes at a time of strengthening UK-Philippines relationship. [Both have accomplished a lot together since the last briefing in London in 2018. Through our enhanced partnership, we set out our increased ambition in key areas of mutual interests—including trade and investments, which further accelerates]—progress.”

Celebrating 77 years of friendship, the British deputation looks forward to having more opportunities to further grow this relationship over the coming years by inviting the UK’s private sector to invest in the Philippines.

Image credits: British Embassy-Manila


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