CEBU, Philippines - The strong and firm governance espoused by the Duterte administration is sending positive signals to Great Britain’s investment community, according to a British envoy.
Richard Graham, the United Kingdom Prime Minister's trade envoy said that Duterte's clear "rule of law" measure, encourages people, specifically British businesses to consider the Philippines as investment site.
However, the member of the British Parliament warned that there is a need for the Philippines to improve its visibility and promotion to the United Kingdom, as the country is still not known to majority of the British community.
Graham, together with other British diplomats, was in Cebu Friday, as part of the British government active stance to strengthen trade ties in the Philippines, and other countries in Asia, following its exit to the European Union.
Graham specifically met with the officials of GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp., and Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza.
At least four British companies are now working with GMR-Megawide to supply and provide services to the airport management, as well as the construction of the new Terminal 2.
While the British government is also concerned on the issue of extra-judicial killings, Graham hinted that this controversy shall be fixed and be defended by the Philippine government leaders.
What impressed the outside observers, including the British investors, he said is Duterte's strong leadership, especially the President's new thrusts and objectives in attracting foreign investments.
Graham added that what the British investment community finds interesting is the Philippines move for de-regulation, specifically mentioning the 60-40 foreign rule on business ownership for foreign companies in the Philippines.
Graham was referring to the existing provision in the 1987 Constitution, which limits foreign ownership of companies in the Philippines to 40 percent.
If this particular rule will be lifted, the British diplomat said Philippines stands to attract more investments from big British entities, such as schools, pharmaceutical manufacturing, among others.(FREEMAN)