PH, UK seek enhanced economic ties via new joint action plan

Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo (left) and British Ambassador Laure Beaufils (right) issue a joint statement following the 4th Philippines-United Kingdom Economic Dialogue in Makati City on May 19, 2023. During the dialogue, the two parties said they will develop an action plan to boost trade, investments and economic partnership. (Photo courtesy of DTI and British Embassy)

The Philippines and the United Kingdom have reaffirmed their commitment to bolster economic ties by developing a blueprint to boost trade and investment.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the British Embassy, in a joint statement on Wednesday, said they will develop a refreshed Joint Action Plan on Trade, Investment and Economic Cooperation for 2023 to 2024.

They said the blueprint aims to grow economic relations between the two countries by maximizing trade and investment opportunities, drive investment opportunities in priority sectors like infrastructure and renewable energy, and promote ease of doing business and digitalization.

“This will provide specific data of the strategic partnership and associated actions to deliver on the above mentioned,” they said.

The statement said the action plan will have a regular review to ensure the delivery and relevance of the joint work.

On trade, the two parties said they will promote the Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS), which will provide preferential tariff on goods entering the UK and that are coming from beneficiary countries.

On investments, UK said it will mobilize the GBP8-billion British Investment Partnerships (BIP) in the country, especially in projects related to sustainable infrastructure and transition to clean energy.

“The DCTS and BIP are solid frameworks that will ensure our economic relations will remain sill strong as ever. The Philippines will continue to work with the UK government to realize concrete opportunities and foster more synergies in areas of mutual interest—in trade, investment, renewable energy, to name a few,” DTI Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo said.

British Ambassador to the Philippines Laure Beaufils also underscored the need to continue the momentum of the strong bilateral trade between the UK and the Philippines.

“The bilateral trade between the UK and the Philippines is the highest it has ever been, and it continues to grow alongside British investment and economic cooperation,” she said.

According to the British Embassy, two-way trade between the UK and the Philippines increased by 26 percent on an annual basis to GBP2.4 billion in 2022, with Philippine exports to UK reaching GBP1.2 billion.

“We are excited about the next chapter of our economic cooperation, including our support to the promotion of ease of doing business and digitalization, and through our British Investment Partnerships, which will boost investments into green infrastructure development,” Beaufils added. (PNA)