PH, UK to refresh economic action plan

The Philippines and the United Kingdom will develop a refreshed Joint Action Plan on Trade, Investment, and Economic Cooperation for 2023 to 2024, as both partners agreed to pursue efforts, including improving ease of doing business in the Philippines, to further promote bilateral economic cooperation that will drive inclusive growth and mutual prosperity.

Philippines Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo and British Ambassador to the Philippines Laure Beaufils.

This developed as both parties held their 4th round of bilateral Economic Dialogue on Friday, May 19, chaired by Philippine Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo and Ambassador to the Philippines Laure Beaufils.

Based on their joint statement, the updated Joint Action Plan 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,” the joint statement added.

Both parties committed to grow bilateral trade, including through jointly promoting the Development Countries Trading Scheme, and continue to address market access concerns to promote a level playing field.

They also vowed to drive investment opportunities, including through the British Investment Partnerships, which can help mobilize private and public finance as well as technical expertise to support sustainable infrastructure development.

Both parties also committed to drive investment opportunities in priority sectors. This will include investments through the British Investment Partnerships (BIP) within which the UK will work with the Philippines to mobilize private and public finance and technical expertise to support sustainable infrastructure projects and the transition to clean energy in the Philippines.

Renewable energy has been cited to be at the forefront of British engagement on the clean energy transition under the BIP.
“UK expertise on rail and integrated transport systems can create the enabling environment for sourcing high quality investment in public transport. Climate finance
can help to de-risk investment opportunities and address the needs of most at-risk communities,” the statement added.

In addition, both the Philippines and UK committed to promote an enabling business environment through ease of doing business, regulatory excellence and digitalization.

“We will sustain our strong partnership on improving the ease of doing business in the Philippines. This will focus on supporting the Philippines in achieving its regulatory reform objectives, building robust links in promoting the digital economy while recognizing the need for protection of intellectual property rights and fostering a more competitive, green, and open investment climate which can further stimulate capital investment flows into the country,” the joint statement added.

For her part, Ambassador Beaufils said, “The bilateral trade between the UK and the Philippines is the highest it has ever been – and it continues to grow alongside British investment and economic cooperation.”

This year, she said, UK will launch the Developing Country Trading Scheme (DCTS) to further boost bilateral trade between the two countries. “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 British Investment Partnerships, which will boost investments into green infrastructure development,” said Beaufils.

Meanwhile, Rodolfo thanked the UK Government for the partnership and collaboration over the years. She said the DCTS and BIP are solid frameworks that will ensure our economic relations will remain still strong as ever. ”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,” said Rodolfo.

The Philippines – UK Economic Dialogue remains the countries’ primary vehicle through which to grow economic and trade linkages and share expertise under the Philippines-UK Enhanced Partnership.