British Chamber’s Nelson says pandemic overshadowing Brexit
(Philstar.com) – July 26, 2020 – 1:14am
MANILA, Philippines — British businesses are not as concerned over preparations and negotiations over the United Kingdom’s divorce from the European Union at the moment than they are with the ongoing health crisis and the economic fissures arising from it.
This is the view of Chris Nelson, executive director of the British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, in an interview on ANC aired July 22.
Nelson, who was in Portugal, said that after ensuring the stability of companies in London and in EU member states, travel is the major issue to be arranged before the trade deal deadline of Jan. 1 2021.
“Portugal relies on tourists, particularly British tourists. That has to be clarified,” he said.
With the pandemic still ranging in the Philippines, Nelson expressed his concern over the recovery of businesses here. A previous survey the chamber conducted found that a large number of its member businesses are operating only at 50% of their capacity.
He suggested that one effective policy in the UK is the furlough scheme wherein the government pays 80% of workers’ salaries while on furlough to help businesses recoup losses during the lockdown months.
Days ahead of President Duterte’s State of the Nation Address before a resumed joint session of Congress, Nelson again stressed the need for stimulus scheme to facilitate struggling SMEs’ recovery, among which are members of the British chamber.
“Economic stimulus is very critical to them and therefore they are looking more details hopefully when Congress comes back about future plans of the Philippine government,” Nelson said.
He said that government assistance to the hospitality sector is most urgent.
Watch the ANC Interview here.