Philippines-UK trade on track to grow 50% this year
(The Philippine Star) - October 6, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Bilateral trade between the Philippines and the United Kingdom is on track to rise nearly half this year as interest among British firms in the country’s infrastructure projects continues to escalate.

In press briefing yesterday, UK Trade and Investment Manila director Iain Mansfield said bilateral trade between the two countries this year has already grown 44 percent in the first half from $1.8 billion in 2014.

For this year, Mansfield said bilateral trade is seen exceeding $2 billion behind increasing interest of UK businesses in the Philippines and vice versa.

“The trend so far is it is significantly up compared to last year. The likelihood is we’ll have 30 percent to 50 percent increase from last year. Looking at the trend, I don’t see any reason for that not to continue for the rest of the year. We’re going to aim for over $2 billion. That’s a conservative estimate,” he said.

“The principal drivers are increase in infrastructure which brings in significant opportunities for both British consultancy firms and equipment suppliers. And the other main driver is the increase in consumer and lifestyle products like cars, apparel, and food,” Mansfield added.

Mansfield said the UK is confident it would maintain its position as the number one investor from Europe to the Philippines as British companies continue to actively consider investments in the country.

As the largest European investor in the Philippines, the UK holds a net foreign direct investment stock of over $5 billion in the country.

“All companies I spoke said they are planning to maintain or increase the level of investments. We have been in talks with three firms which are considering making substantial investments in the Philippines. They would be major investments. All of them would employ extra thousand people,” Mansfield said without disclosing the identity of the companies.

At present, major British companies in the country include Unilever, Shell, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Pru Life, De La Rue, GSK, AstraZeneca, Diageo, G4S, Arup, JCB, Intertek and Halcrow.

Mansfield said UK’s investment in the Philippines is expected to further grow as infrastructure spending in the country likewise increases.

He said UK companies are renowned for delivering some of the best airport and aerospace solutions which are sought after worldwide for their expertise in design, engineering and operations.

ACIRC ARUP DE LA RUE DIAGEO IAIN MANSFIELD INTERTEK AND HALCROW MANSFIELD PHILIPPINES AND THE UNITED KINGDOM PRU LIFE STANDARD CHARTERED TRADE AND INVESTMENT MANILA
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