Closer economic ties seen – UK trade envoy

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United Kingdom Trade Envoy to the Philippines George Freeman sees greater economic ties with the Philippines, he said in remarks at the formal opening of the British Business Centre by the British Chamber of Commerce Philippines (BCCP) in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig yesterday.

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Freeman led the opening with British Ambassador Asif Ahmad and BCCP Chairman Roger Lamb. BCCP’s new office will be located on the 8th floor of the W. Fifth Avenue Building, 5th Avenue corner 32nd Street in BGC.

The British Business Centre will provide high quality services to assist British firms seeking to do business in the Philippines, and will be particularly targeting small and medium enterprises (SME’s).

“The Philippines is very important to the UK as a major emerging democratic economic powerhouse in Asean region. The UK will help in terms of agriculture, energy, medicine, and development of professional services in digital economy,” Trade Envoy Freeman said.

Freeman is one of only 14 envoys and the 6th in the Asean countries appointed by British Prime Minister David Cameron to selected high-growth and developing markets, demonstrating the UK’s strong confidence in the growth of the Philippine economy and its intent to partner with the Philippines in deepening commercial ties, Freeman explained.

“The UK is a mature economy, we have partner companies that will bring a lot of value to this economy and partnership with the Philippine government and companies who are already here,” Freeman said.

He added that the UK government prioritizes the Philippine as a major opportunity and partner because of its pro-trade and pro-law policies with Western values orientation and English-speaking people.

Freeman is looking for business opportunities specifically in the energy market in the Philippines. Energy security and climate change are mutual interests, he noted, with world energy demand expected to increase by almost 40 percent by 2035. In the Philippines, energy demand is growing at about 5 percent per annum.

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