British companies eye investing in PH

BRITISH companies have set its eyes in investing in the Philippines, seeing the country's economic growth in recent years that paved way to new opportunities.

"We already have about 1,000 companies that have expressed interest in doing business in the Philippines," said Chris Nelson, chairman of the British Chamber Commerce Philippines (BCCP), at the sidelines of the Sector Briefing and Business Networking Lunch on Thursday at the SGV Seminar Hall, Topaz Tower, Damosa IT Park, Davao City.

"The growth in trade and investment between the Philippines and the UK (United Kingdom) is on an upswing. In 2015, it grew by 38 percent," he added.

He said the growing economy and high population in terms of adults and consumers are also among the factors that caught the interest of the investors.

Nelson said British investors are keen on the government's infrastructure development projects and a number of British companies wish to also be involved in those projects.

He said British investors are also looking into investments in agribusiness, energy, and information technology.

Nelson said they hope to increase the number of British investors coming to the Philippines.

A potential agri market

Asif Ahmad, British Ambassador to the Philippines, underscored the potential of Mindanao agricultural products to be imported in the UK.

"There is a history of some [agricultural] trade between Mindanao with Europe and UK as it (Mindanao) is a rich source of fruits and vegetables," Ahmad said, who was also at the Sector Briefing and Business Networking Lunch yesterday.

However, he pointed out that agricultural exporters should consider value adding their products.

"What I suggest though is you don't just grow fresh fruits and vegetables and rely on that alone," Ahmad said, adding that exporters will find that value added fruits and vegetables is "more lucrative."

"In that (value adding) way, you will find that you will be accessing new markets," he added.

Ahmad also encouraged players in the agricultural industry here to explore high value crops like coffee.

British trade mission

The BCCP on Thursday led a Trade and Investment Mission to Davao City in partnership with British Embassy Manila, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Makati Business Club, and Philippine British Business Council.

Nelson said 48 delegates from 30 British companies are participating in the trade mission.

The mission seeks to explore business opportunities in Davao City and the rest of Mindanao.

In the briefing Thursday, Davao City Investment Promotion Center officer-in-charge Lemuel Ortonio and Mindanao Development Authority deputy executive director assistant secretary Romeo Montenegro presented the investment opportunities in Davao City and Mindanao.

Ricardo Lagdameo, Damosa Land Inc. Vice President, also discussed about Anflocor and the Anflo Industrial Estate in Panabo City.
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