Saturday, March 25, 2017

WATCH: Business leaders are praising the administration's strong push for investments and infrastructure

Some 50 British companies, mostly with existing operations in the country, are exploring expansion opportunities in Davao, according to British Ambassador Ahsif Ahmad.

Ahmad made this announcement during a dinner for visiting UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy Richard Graham MP. Ahmad said he will lead next week the business delegation to Davao. UK is the latest to join a bandwagon of businessmen visiting the hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The Davao trip will provide a glimpse of Davao’s potential not only for agriculture investments but also site for BPO operations by some of the British investors in the country. Ahmad cited how British firms have grown in the Philippines from only a few when he came here a few years ago. Ahmad is due for reassignment mid this year.

Major British companies that are in the country include Unilever, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Pru Life, De La Rue, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Diageo, G4S, Arup, JCB, Atkins, Lloyd’s and Intertek.

Its major manufacturing firms here include BE Aerospace, the world’s elading supplier of aircraft interiors; STI International, a Hampton-based electronics manufacturer; and Shell, a major gas producer and refiner in the country.

Minister Graham’s visit was also accompanied by 30 British firms representing educational institutions in the UK, infrastructure, consultancy, energy, and financial and professional services.

More than half of the group members are engaged in education and training institutions, a clear indication of the strength and wealth of offerings that UK universities and training providers are keen to share with Asian countries, including the Philippines. Many of the delegates will travel on to explore opportunities in Indonesia, Vietnam and Burma.

Notably, Cambridge, one of the world’s top universities, is launching an examination and certification system in the country where it hopes to offer curriculum development, provision of international qualifications, and capacity building for teachers.

“I would love to see more of our great higher educational institutions operating in the Philippines, as they do in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore,” said Graham.

Ahmad noted the growth in the bilateral relations between the Philippines and UK.  Total exports of goods and services to the Philippines in 2015 reached about 628 million pounds, a 28 percent increase from 2014. UK export of goods of goods were up by 38 percent in 2015, the second highest worldwide.

Top UK exports to the Philippines  include electrical machinery, pharmaceuticals, industrial machinery and equipment, road vehicles, other transport equipment, power generating machinery and equipment, and professional services.

Philippine firms in the UK include Philippine National Bank, Bank of Philippine Islands, PLDT, Alliance Global, and Monde Nissin.

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SOURCE: CNN

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