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Large UK delegation to explore prospects in Philippines infra, education

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines is hosting this week a large business delegation from the United Kingdom to be led by Trade Envoy to the Philippines Richard Graham.

The 30-member delegation will explore trade and investment opportunities in the areas of education and infrastructure.

“The UK will be more global and outward looking than ever. The Philippines, where I worked many years ago, and Southeast Asia is a very important market for the UK,” said Graham, who will be in Manila and Iloilo from March 21 to 24 to reaffirm the trade and investment relations between the UK and the Philippines. 

The companies, along with some top UK universities, that will join Graham have interest and expertise in education, infrastructure, consultancy, energy and financial professional services.

The delegation includes Arcadis, Arup, Atkins, Arcadis, Biwater Malaysia Sdn Bhd, BPP Professional Education Group, British Council, BSI Group, Cambridge English Language Assessment, Cambridge International Examinations, City & Guilds, Coventry University Indonesia Office, Crown Agents, Education Development Trust, Exscitec, Grimshaw, IMC Worldwide, Institute of the Motor Industry, International Skills UK, Legion, Longcroft Associates Ltd, Nottingham University, Online Business School Ltd, Ricardo AEA, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Qualifications Authority, TNEI Services, Twig World, Turner & Townsend Inc, UK NARIC and Department for International Trade.

Graham said the Philippines would benefit greatly from the expertise and experience of UK infrastructure firms.

 “The Asian Development Bank has projected an $8-trillion infrastructure gap across the entire Asia Pacific. British firms can work with Filipino partners to deliver projects, not least through the UK industry-led Infrastructure Export Leadership Forum and the use of UK export finance,” he said.

Graham said he would also be promoting education opportunities in the Philippines and around the region.

He said the UK has more triple-accredited business schools than any other country and is home to four of the world’s top 10 universities and the most popular K-12 curriculum in the world.

 “Filipino families will always want the best education for their children – and that is where Britain can come in and help, if the market conditions are made right,” Graham said.

British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad earlier said the Duterte administration’s plan to amend the Constitution is a positive step that would open the floodgates for more foreign direct investments.

Ahmad noted restrictions in foreign ownership for sectors like property and education are factors limiting the country’s growth.

Graham said he is visiting the country “to lead one of our biggest dedicated UK business missions to witness first-hand the various aid-funded business opportunities generated through aid organizations here in Southeast Asia.”

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