UK expects continued growth in record trade with PHL

THE UK expects record levels of trade with the Philippines to grow further with the rollout of the Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) and British Investment Partnerships (BIP), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said in a statement.

British Ambassador to the Philippines Laure Beaufils said bilateral trade is “the highest it has ever been — and it continues to grow alongside British investment and economic cooperation. This year we will launch the DCTS to further boost bilateral trade between our two countries,” Ms. Beaufils was quoted as saying. 

“We are excited about the next chapter of our economic cooperation, including our support to the promotion of the ease of doing business and digitalization, and through our BIPs, which will boost investments into green infrastructure development,” she added.

The DTI said the two countries signed a partnership statement on trade, investment and economic cooperation during the fourth round of bilateral economic dialogue in Makati City on May 19.

“The DCTS and BIP are solid frameworks that will ensure our economic relations will remain still strong as ever,” Trade Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo said.

“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,” he added.

In March, the UK government unveiled the BIP scheme, which would mobilize up to 8 billion pounds of funding for green infrastructure, clean technology, and climate finance.

The DCTS, announced in August, will replace the UK’s Generalized System of Preferences trading scheme. The new trading scheme is set to benefit 65 developing countries.

Aside from the tariff benefits, the DCTS will simplify seasonal tariffs that will allow the entry of more Philippine exports into the UK.

The partnership signed by the Philippines and the UK committed to grow bilateral trade, jointly promote the DCTS, push investment via BIPs, and encourage an “enabling business environment.”

The statement also called for the Philippines and UK to create a joint action plan on trade, investment, and economic cooperation for 2023 and 2024.

“This will provide specific details of the strategic partnership and associated actions to deliver on the above ambitions. We will review the delivery plan on an ongoing basis to ensure continued coherence and relevance to our joint work,” according to the partnership statement.  

The UK estimates that bilateral trade in goods and services was 2.4 billion pounds in 2022, up 26%.

The Philippines was the UK’s 64th largest trading partner in 2022, accounting for 0.1% of UK trade. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave