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British chamber of commerce to lead trade mission to Iloilo

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Megaworld’s Iloilo Business Park. -- PHILSTAR

THE British Chamber of Commerce Philippines (BCCP) will sponsor a trade mission to Iloilo next month, with the aim of attracting more investment from British small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) to the Visayas.

BCCP Chairman Chris Nelson on Friday said the delegation will be about 50 strong and will include SMEs and large enterprises.

Mr. Nelson said he expects the two-day trade mission to attract more than 100 participants overall when local businessmen join the proceedings.

“If you look at the [British] companies that tend to have shown interest in the Philippines based on former records, we have consultancy companies, food and beverages – that’s still a strong sector — retail, [and] ICT,” he added.

“I imagine possibly some linked in manufacturing because of course there is an interest obviously in the infrastructure programs in general in the Philippines.”

Mr. Nelson said that British companies are interested in providing engineering services in the transportation sector such as roads and ports, after having participated in the development of Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

Companies involved in energy and financial service industries are also expected to join the delegation.

“In the last four years, we’ve dealt with 1,682 inquiries [from British companies through the Overseas Partner Delivery]. I must say these are small to medium enterprises and we’ve had success particularly in the environmental sector, beverages and so forth,” he added.

BCCP chose the Visayas as the next area for investment promotion following the success of a trade mission last year to Davao which resulted to the establishment of two businesses shortly after.

These two companies are marine asset protection company SeaGard Ltd. and YLF Contracts and Costs Solutions, a company involved in construction and engineering.

Mr. Nelson said the BCCP chose Iloilo particularly due to its potential in the agribusiness, tourism, manufacturing and ICT sectors.

“We’re not excluding anything but we’re focusing on this particular moment this particular mission in Iloilo and the Visayas to provide opportunity to another part of the country,” Mr. Nelson said. — Anna Gabriela A. Mogato