THE Philippines stands to benefit the most from the expected investment boom President Benigno S. Aquino III’s forthcoming official visit to the United Kingdom will generate, an official of the Department of Foreign Affairs said recently.
Philippine Ambassador to the UK Enrique Manalo said the President’s visit from June 4 to 6 will “further cement and invigorate” bilateral ties between the two countries and further boost investor confidence in the country.
He said UK businesses and investors have been looking at the Philippines as an “emerging power in Asia,” noting the country’s resiliency to withstand economic downturns in other countries like the United States but most especially, its positive growth for three consecutive years.
“His (President Aquino’s) coming here (UK) will further cement and, I hope, invigorate the bilateral ties between the Philippines and the UK…and when he comes here, one of the topics of his agenda will be to promote business and commercial relations with the UK for
investments and trade…and we feel that his coming here will also pave the way for more high level companies to invest in the Philippines,” Manalo said.
“As you know, our country has experienced for the past three years positive growth rates despite the economic downturn in the US. This is an area where there are many economic opportunities (and) I think the UK business investors will try to take advantage of that. We should see how we can offer incentives and (more) opportunities for them,” he added.
Among President Aquino’s activities in UK will be a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street where the two leaders are expected to discuss Philippine-UK political and economic cooperation, the UK’s participation in the international
contact group (ICG), regional and international issues, and anti-corruption and good governance practices of both governments.
The President will also meet with several British investors, take part in the Philippine fun tourism campaign of the Department of Tourism and meet with the Filipino community in the UK, the largest in Europe.
The Philippines and the UK have a long standing diplomatic relations, with ties starting in 1946. The UK is the country’s top European investors, the 23rd trading partner, the biggest tourism market in Europe and host to the biggest number of Filipinos in Europe. (PCOO)