PH, UK keen on increasing maritime cooperation amid ‘thriving’ ties

At a glance

  • Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo and United Kingdom (UK) Minister for Indo-Pacific Anne-Marie Trevelyan during their last week's meeting, where they reaffirmed their countries commitment to strengthen their enhanced partnership.

  • The two officials agreed to work more closely on mutual priorities that include maritime cooperation and regional stability.

  • Photo from British Minister Trevelyan via Twitter

The Philippines and the United Kingdom (UK) reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen already “thriving” ties, as their high-ranking officials agreed last week to “work more closely” on “mutual priorities” that include maritime cooperation and regional stability.

In a tweet, Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo shared this outcome of his meeting with UK Minister for Indo-Pacific Anne-Marie Trevelyan on Thursday, March 30.

“Reaffirmed the Philippines’ commitment to strengthen PH-UK enhanced partnership during my meeting with UK Minister of State for Indo Pacific Anne-Marie Trevelyan,” he wrote.

The UK official, who was in the country from March 30 to 31 to launch the British Investment Partnerships (BIP) in the Philippines that will help boost UK-backed investment in green energy and infrastructure, described the relationship between the Philippines and UK as “thriving.”

“UK-Philippines ties are thriving, from our Enhanced Partnership to our cooperation through ASEAN,” her tweet read.

She added that it was a “pleasure” to meet Manalo as they “agreed to work more closely on mutual priorities from maritime security to regional stability.”

British Ambassador to the Philippines Laure Beaufils also shared some more details about the meeting on Twitter.

“Great meeting between (UK) Minister for Indo Pacific @annietrev & (Philippines) @SecManalo. They agreed to further strengthen our Enhanced Partnership- including on maritime security, green infrastructure, economic security and climate change,” she wrote.

During the meeting with Manalo and other officials, both parties discussed defense, trade and climate issues.

Trevelyan also met with Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) chief Admiral Artemio Abu to discuss maritime security and marine conservation.

Part of her agenda was to visit the PCG headquarters, where she joined a tour of a Coast Guard vessel and Manila Bay.

Her visit though was primarily to launch UK’s new BIP initiative.

“Working with the Philippine government and private sector partners, BIP will mobilize high-quality, reliable investment and technical expertise to support sustainable infrastructure development and the transition to clean energy in the Philippines,” a statement from the UK government said.

Trevelyan added that the initiative would “boost high quality, sustainable infrastructure development across the Philippines, accelerate the green energy transition, and secure resilient growth for the Philippines.”

BIP builds on the ongoing work by UK development finance institutions, which are already providing funding and expertise support to the Philippines for its aim to achieve resilient growth.

Among the financing opportunities include the UK’s Mobilist program, which is investing in green energy, including $25m in financing for the Philippines’ first solar plants on Negros Island.