The trade outlook between the United Kingdom (UK) and the Philippines remains positive despite slowing economic growth on both sides and even after a record 2.6 billion pounds of two-way trade in 2022.
British businesses are also supporting the extension until 2024 of lower tariff on pork.
The UK is a major supplier of the commodity to the Philippines.
Chris Nelson, executive director of the British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, told a television interview lower tariff on pork as contained in Executive Order 10 has been a very critical factor in lowering food inflation in the Philippines.
Nelson said pork exports from the UK have risen 34 percent to 34,000 metric tons last year.
Nelson said the participation of British companies at the recent World Food Expo indicates their strong interest to assist in supplying pork and beef to the Philippine market.
“There will be challenges, but we’re confident and we would strongly endorse the extension of EO 10 which expires at the end of the year. We recommend that it’s extended through 2024,” Nelson said.
While the UK economy is just starting to grow at 0.2 percent in the second quarter and the Philippines’ GDP number of 4.3 percent in the same quarter was lower than anticipated, Nelson said the prospects for trade still remain very good.
“There are opportunities… investments in infrastructure. The UK is very interested in renewable energy. Let’s not forget there was a visit of (Trade) Secretary Pascual in Europe and… London,” he said, referring to an investment roadshow conducted by the Philippines in July.
Nelson said despite the challenges in growth and inflation, two-way trade managed to grow to new a high in 2022.
Two-way trade between the UK and the Philippines of 3.2 billion pounds last year was balanced at 1.3 billion pounds each side.
Nelson noted the launch of the Developing Country Trading Scheme. is going to be very important and beneficial.
The UK and Philippines cooperation remains strong even as plans of forging a free trade agreement have yet to be finalized.