Monday, 10 January 2011

Studies say UK largest investor in country

Manila Bulletin

MANILA, Philippines –The United Kingdom (UK) is the largest investor in the Philippines for the past decade.

Citing the most recent studies conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the British Embassy in Manila disclosed that the UK had a combined net foreign direct and net portfolio investments from 1999-2009 of an estimated $9.7 billion, rivaled only by Singapore with a much smaller $6.7-billion cumulative investment.

According to the British Embassy, this was largely due to the pre-eminence of the UK as a global financial center.

The Embassy said there are currently about 200 British companies active in the Philippines ranging from big multinationals to small medium enterprises.

Major British companies in currently in the country include Anglo-American, Shell, HSBC, BG, Standard Chartered, Pru Life and Unilever. A number of British companies are active in successful retail franchising, these include Debenhams, M & S, Speedo, Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Warehouse, Clarks Shoes, Burberry, Paul Smith, Dunhill and Mothercare.

On the other hand, HSBC, Shell, Logica, Atkins, the Financial Times and Northgate Arinso are among the British companies active in business process outsourcing.

In training, Balfour Beatty and Cape Plc have established technical training centers in Manila, training Filipinos in the technical skills to support the operations of these companies around the world.

Among the most recent UK business successes in the Philippines were the establishment of a partnership last year between Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) and the De La Salle University (DLSU) for the delivery of the CIMA Masters Gateway Assessment (CMGA) courses.

In August 2010, AIMA registered an office in the Philippines to tap into the growing market of students seeking a UK education.

Meanwhile, in April 2010, TAMS signed an agreement with Transworld Philippines for the distribution of the company's chemical disinfectants to Philippine farms.

In March 2010, UK renewable energy firm Global Green Power PLC held a reception at the British Ambassador's Residence to mark the contract signing with engineering contractors and technology partners for its biomass projects in the Philippines.

As of February 2010, design firm Broadway Malyan was working on three major projects with one of the Philippines’ major developers, Century Properties.

The Britsih Embassy in a statement, described that UK-Philippine trade relations as "good." However, the balance of trade remains as it has over the last few years, in favor of the Philippines in a ratio of about 3:1.

Total exports of goods to Philippines for January to October 2010 were £242 million, an increase of 14 percent on the same period in 2009. Imports in the period were pegged at £413 million, or a rise of 29 percent on the same period last year.

In terms of the UK's share of world exports to the Philippines, the Embassy said the UK remains in 15th position after the United States, Japan, China, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, and regional neighbors.

Based on 2008 and 2009 figures, the UK is a net importer of goods and services with £115 million and and £38 million, respectively.

UK’s top three exports of goods are electrical machinery & appliances, with £45 million; medicinal & pharmaceutical products, with £45 million; and power generating machinery with £23 million.

On the other hand, UK’s top three imports of goods in 2009 include electrical machinery & appliances, with £118 million; fish, crustaceans & mollusks, with £30 million; and articles of apparel and clothing with £28 million.

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