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PBBC Visit February 2020

Philippine British Business Council set to hold trade mission to PH

Chris Nelson, President of the British Chamber of Commerce, interviewed by ANC

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Philippines Economy February 2020 Update

  • The Philippines’ GDP posted a year-on-year growth of 6.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year, resulting in 5.9 per cent full-year growth for 2019. The main drivers for growth in the fourth quarter were the trade and repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, and personal and household goods as well as manufacturing and construction. Among the major economic sectors, services posted the fastest growth at 7.9 per cent.
  • With the country’s projected population reaching 108.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, per capita GDP grew by 4.8 per cent.
  • The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of the PH merchandise for the total trade to the UK from 2017 to 2019 is at 4.8 per cent. PH exports to the UK increased by 2.43 per cent from 2017 to 2018, due to the increase in the shipment of (1) tunas, skipjack and bonito, (2) other pulps of fibres, and (3) other electrical apparatus. Similarly, PH imports from the UK rose by 31.35 per cent due mainly to the increase in the importation of (1) parts of aeroplanes or helicopters, (2) transistors, and (3) spark-ignition reciprocating or rotary internal combustion piston engines for aircraft.
GDP Growth Rate
  • In 2018, the UK was the Philippines’ 22nd trading partner (out of 222), 18th export market (out of 213) and 22nd import source (out of 198).
  • Tourist arrivals from January to November 2019 totalled 7.48 million with a growth rate of 15.58 per cent. The UK remains the largest source of tourists from Europe and the 8th largest market globally with 187,164 visitors arriving from Britain last year.
  • The World Bank released its “Doing Business 2020” report, wherein the Philippines made a significant improvement from rank 124 out of 190 economies, to rank 95 with a score of 62.8 in this year’s report. This was the most significant improvement among ASEAN countries.
  • The report highlights the following reforms undertaken by the Philippines that has made it easier to do business in the country, including:
  • The Philippines made starting a business easier by abolishing the minimum capital requirement for domestic companies;
  • The Philippines made dealing with construction permits easier by improving coordination and streamlining the process for obtaining an occupancy certificate; and
  • The Philippines strengthened minority investor protections by requiring greater disclosure of transactions with interested parties and enhancing director liability for transactions with interested parties.

The Philippines Inflation Rates

Inflation Rate

Opportunities in The Philippines for UK Companies


Economic information Courtesy of the Philippines Embassy, London

Graphic Courtesy of the British Chamber of Commerce, Manila

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Asia CEO Forum February 26 2020

Arthur Tugade, Secretary of Transportation, describes the amazing story of infrastructure development in the Philippines at Asia CEO Forum on

Wednesday, February 26 (8am to 10:00am)

at the Manila Marriott,

Newport City Complex, Pasay City


“Build, Build, Build” is becoming “Use, Use, Use” and putting Philippines on the global economic map.  International organizations that previously had bad attitudes about the Philippines (and Duterte) are now gushing with praise.  “The Economist” reports glowingly on the gargantuan infrastructure program of the Duterte administration.  

Asian Development Bank (ADB) lent the Philippines more than 67 countries last year (only India, with 10X the population, got more). The government estimates that about 50 of the 100 “Build, Build, Build” projects will be completed by 2022.  ADB says ecstatically if only 30 finish, it would be “hugely successful.”

+ Will Secretary Tugate finish in time for the next election?
+ Can the Philippines really enter the big-leagues of global economies?
+ Will Duterte’s sky-high approval ratings go even higher?
+ Can we prevent the next government from killing everything after the election?

Get the full story from the remarkable Arthur Tugade, Secretary of Transportation, at Asia CEO Forum on February 26 (8am to 10:00am) at the Manila Marriott.  The price of admission is just Php1,500 and includes 5-star breakfast (Php2,000 if paid at the event).   REGISTER HERE.     

Asia CEO Events is the largest and only national business event series in the Philippines.  Senior business leaders come from across Asia for events in Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao, Clark and other locations.  See future events at . 

DATE AND TIME February 26th, 2020
7:45 am – 10:30 am

Shame on them! Shame on anyone who says this government’s infrastructure program is not making massive progress.  All knowledgeable observers say the Duterte Administration’s “Build, Build, Build” agenda to spend 9 Trillion pesos (US$177 Billion) constructing new infrastructure will have a profound impact on the nation that will extend for generations to come.  

Hear Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade tell it himself at the next Asia CEO Forum on February 26 (8am to 10:00am) at the Manila Marriott.  Expect a complete update on the remarkable progress.

The work being done is being enthusiastically noticed around the world.  The influential global financial magazine “The Economist” recently reported in rare glowing terms about Duterte’s infrastructure program, “The Philippines… to Unclog.”

Asian Development Bank (ADB), previously known to be pessimistic about the country’s progress, has become one of its biggest boosters.  It lent the Philippines more than any other country last year — with the exception of India, a country with 10 times the population.  

The government estimates that about 50 of the 100 “Build, Build, Build” projects should be completed by 2022.  The ADB says if just 30 are completed it would be “hugely successful.”

Can Secretary Tugate finish everything in time for the next election?  Will this mark the Philippines’ entry to the global economic big-leagues?  What will be the impact of approval ratings on Duterte, already one of the world’s most popular politicians?  Will the next government kill everything a week after the election?  


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Exhibition: Study World 2020


Makati Shangri-La Hotel, Isabela Ballroom

Sat, 21 Mar. 2020, 12.00pm to 6.00pm

The UK Education Advisory Service (UKEAS) partnered with the Department for International Trade, British Embassy Manila, and the British Council, to host this year’s Study World 2020 in the Philippines.

Study World is the UK’s largest exhibition event for international Higher Education Institutions (HEI), expecting to reach at least 500+ attendees in Manila and 200+ attendees in Clark—who are all interested to study in the UK.

There are exhibition slots open for UK HEIs to join and promote their innovating programmes for post-graduate studies on specialised courses, with focus on IT (e.g. Data Analytics, Cybersecurity), Advanced Engineering and Architecture (e.g. Construction, BIM, Rail, Urban Planning), Healthcare (e.g. Digital Health and Medical Informatics) and Finance (i.e. FinTech, e-commerce), among others.

In addition to student recruitment activities, there will be a dedicated event for UK HEIs to collaborate on sustainable, institutional partnerships with Philippine (PH) universities, including sending PH faculty to study in the UK, transnational education (TNE) arrangements, research collaborations, and other education experts.

This is in fulfilment of the recently passed TNE Act which encourages PH HEIs to internationalise and become world-class.

There will be arranged B2B meetings, site visits and matching with reputable and capable PH universities.

Deadline to join is on 21 February 2020.

For more information, interested participants may reach out to Ianela Ortiz, Senior Trade and Investment Manager (DIT Manila) at

This March, UKEAS has designed an even better Study World for the Filipinos who dream to further their education with our efforts made in partnership with the British Embassy. Study World will be your main avenue for furthering your personal growth in academe by providing you with the best experience through interactions with representatives from universities in the United Kingdom.

The exhibition shall also provide you with educational workshops and seminars, scholarship opportunities, visa consultations, and other exciting freebies that may assist potential students in making the right decision for their UK study.

Setting up a path for the achievement of your goals is important now more than ever, and your journey starts when you decide where you want to be. The search for self-growth often goes beyond the four walls and exploring the world as you learn is a rare opportunity that not many are given.  

Part of the ride is discovering that your academic journey in the UK can begin with us. Allow UKEAS to bring you a Study World like no other by registering now! You will learn how exploring your opportunities, discovering your potential, and growing the best version of yourself is easy when you attend Study World this March 21, 2020 at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel Isabella Ballroom A, B, and C from 12 noon to 6 in the evening! Remember, Education is Great and #YouCanWithUKEAS!

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