SOURCE:  BusinessMirror
Published – March 10, 2011

Britain holds much hope about continuing bilateral trade with the Philippines as a result of President Aquino’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Program.

IUK - Edward Farquharson

“The British embassy is actively encouraging more British companies to participate in the bidding of Philippine PPP projects. More bidders mean a more competitive bidding process that would present the Philippine government with a wider range of partnership choices,” British Ambassador to Manila Stephen Lillie said in a statement yesterday.

He said Britain has many specialists in all fields of consultancy and practice, in managing, structuring and negotiating PPP arrangements.

“The UK experience shows that PPP can go a lot further [than transport]. It can go into education, water, health care, schools, hospitals and even prisons. We have every interest in [the Philippines’] future success. The outlook going forward is clearly very positive, too, and if the essential underpinnings of stronger infrastructure can be put in place, then the prospects will be very bright, indeed,” he said.

“Britain has identified the Philippines as a key emerging power in East Asia. The Philippines is one of the largest countries and key player in Asean. Last year’s economic growth figure of 7 percent was very impressive, especially as it was accompanied with an even higher increase in bilateral trade between Britain and the Philippines,” Lillie also said, as he noted that Britain was enjoying robust economic ties with the Philippines.

British government figures showed that Philippine exports to the United Kingdom last year reached £493,613, an increase of 18 percent from 2009. Exports from the UK to the Philippines went up by 11 percent to reach £285,666.

Derek Page, UK Trade and Investment director at the British Embassy, welcomed the increase in the bilateral trade between the Philippines and Britain as a sign of strengthening relations.

“Our trading relationship has always been strong and it is clear from these figures that it has held up well despite the global economic downturn,” he said.

This week the British Embassy hosted a capacity-building workshop on managing PPPs, underlining the UK’s strong support for the development of PPP projects in the Philippines. Edward Farquharson and James Balingall of Infrastructure UK under Her Majesty’s Treasury shared with Philippine officials, both national and local, their knowledge and experience on PPP projects.

In Photo: Edward Farquharson gestures as he explains the key private-public partnership (PPP) principles, objective and rationale for PPPs and lessons learnt during the PPP 101: A Forum on Public-Private Partnerships for Local Government Units. The event was organized by the League of Cities of the Philippines, British Embassy in Manila, the La Liga Policy Institute and the BusinessMirror held at Century Park Hotel Manila. (Roy Domingo)