• ‘Brexit is more an opportunity than risk in PH-UK trade’

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    THE Philippines and the United Kingdom are exploring for more ways to expand trade and investment opportunities to make sure the impact of the so-called Brexit would bring more opportunities for both countries rather than be viewed as a risk by investors, a UK official told the Department of Finance (DOF) during a recent meeting.

    UK Foreign Office Minister for Asia-Pacific Alok Sharma told Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd the meeting with Philippine economic managers and business leaders showed there was a strong desire to expand business opportunities.

    “We had a number of really good meetings, actually, with big companies here that also invested in the UK. We had discussions with UK companies that invested here in the Philippines. And I think the overall message was that things are moving forward, obviously, in terms of our trade that increased, and investment has increased,” said Sharma, who is also a Member of Parliament.

    The Brexit move has no significant impact on British investments overseas and on the British economy, which is “doing very well,” according to the UK official.

    “So, right now, it looks quite positive. And the message that has been coming from investors here – Filipino investors here to the UK – is that they see an opportunity in Brexit rather than a risk,” Sharma said.

    It was the same message he supposedly got from other investors during his visit to other countries in the region.

    This year marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and the UK.

    The UK is the largest European investor in the Philippines, with the Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Prudential UK and Dunlop Slazenger having sizable investments here.

    Some 17,000 British nationals live in the Philippines while 250,000 Filipinos reside and work in the UK. About 180,000 UK tourists visit the Philippines each year.

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