Philippines, UK craft action plan for economic cooperation
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - March 23, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and United Kingdom (UK) have agreed to work together in priority sectors involving trade and investment promotion, ease of doing business, micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) development to promote stronger economic ties.

In a statement, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said the Philippines and UK signed the Partnership Statement and Joint Action Plan on Economic Cooperation, Trade and Investment during the First Philippines – UK Economic Dialogue held Thursday.

The inaugural dialog between the two countries was led by DTI Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo and British Ambassador Daniel Pruce.

Under the partnership statement and joint action plan, the two countries will pursue cooperation in priority sectors such as trade and investment promotion, industry collaboration, MSME development, innovation, ease of doing business reforms, transparency and anti-corruption initiatives, and competition policy.

The two countries will also collaborate in other priority sectors such as information and communications technology, transport, sustainable infrastructure, banking, fintech, green finance, capital market development, health, education and skills development.

In addition, there will be cooperation initiatives across a broad range of sectors under the UK’s development programs such as the Prosperity Fund.

Through the Prosperity Fund, the UK seeks to remove barriers to economic growth and promote economic reform and development needed to alleviate poverty in partner countries.

The conduct of the dialog between the two countries is considered a milestone in strengthening Philippine-UK economic relations.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said the Philippines “welcomes stronger ties with the UK as one of its top trade, investment, and development partners in Europe.”

He added the dialog shows both sides are ready and open for more business.

Rodolfo said “the dialog allows us to harness complementarities to further strengthen our economic ties.”

For his part, Pruce said the UK “remains committed to support sustainable and inclusive development in the Philippines and to enable programs that encourage growing bilateral trade and investment.”

Following the dialog, the two countries look forward to increased two-way trade and investments, as well as continued collaboration in concrete and mutually beneficial economic cooperation initiatives.

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