The Philippine Business Delegation

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31 October 2013 – A high-level trade and investments promotion mission to London was held last October 2 and 3 led by Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo and Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima. The official delegation also included Department of Trade and Industry-Trade and Investments Promotions Group (DTI-TIPG) Usec. Chito Manalo, BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo, Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center Executive Director Cosette Canilao, together with a 25-member business delegation led by Philippine-British Business Council (PBBC) Co-chairman Ambassador Jesus Tambunting. Also joining the business delegation are British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (BCCP) Chairman Roger Lamb and PBBC London Co-chairman Nigel Rich.

On October 2, Philippine government officials and the business delegation hosted a conference to showcase the Philippines’ economic success story and its continuously improving business climate. The gathering entitled “Invest Philippines: Philippine Economic Briefing and Trade & Investment Opportunities Conference” featured a keynote address by Sec. Domingo, messages from Lord Stephen Green of Hurstpierpoint, UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment, and Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom Enrique Manalo, as well as an open forum with the Philippine government officials and delegation members, Shell Philippines Country Chairman Ed Chua and HSBC CEO Wick Veloso. The afternoon session featured messages, business testimonials, and an open forum with Usec. Manalo, Exec. Dir. Canilao, and members of the Philippine business delegation on opportunities for British investment in the Philippines and Philippine-British business partnerships, especially in PEZA zones and in public-private partnership projects. PBBC Co-chairman Amb. Tambunting closed the conference by delivering his remarks and outlook on the Philippines’ business environment, with networking cocktails following afterwards. An estimated 200 participants attended the conference, composed mostly of representatives of British companies and business organizations.

DTI Sec. Domingo delivering his keynote address london2On October 3, mission partners the UK-ASEAN Business Council and the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, together with the BCCP, hosted a forum entitled “Open For Business! Practical Advice on Doing Business in the Philippines.” Setting the tone of the forum was PBBC Co-chairman Amb. Tambunting, who emphasized in his keynote address that “there is no better time for UK businesses to come and do business in the Philippines than now.” Representatives from various UK-based SMEs and companies attended the forum, actively engaging the panel speakers from DTI, PBBC, BCCP, and invited private sector representatives.

To formally conclude the mission, a farewell reception was co-hosted by the DTI and the Philippine Embassy in London for all members of the mission, with Sec. Domingo describing the visit as the “the best he has attended” this year. The secretary expressed confidence that, through the mission’s success, more British investments to the Philippines may be expected in the months to come. Following up on the London trip, two inbound trade missions from the UK are due to arrive in the Philippines before the year ends.