British chamber banks on PHL’s new ease-of-doing-business law to attract foreign investors

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File photo of British Chamber of Commerce Philippines (BCCP) chairman Chris Nelson — Photo: Facebook/BritishChamberPhilippines

By Arjay L. Balinbin, Reporter

The British Chamber of Commerce Philippines (BCCP) on Wednesday, June 6, said it is set to meet with local businessmen in the United Kingdom (UK) “next week” to present and discuss the “ease of doing business” in the Philippines, following the enactment of Republic Act 11032 or the ease-of-doing-business law.

“We are leaving again for the UK on Friday evening, and I got a meeting in Manchester with the chambers of commerce in the UK maybe next week, and I will discuss and present to them the ease of doing business [in the Philippines],” BCCP chairman Chris Nelson said in a phone interview on Wednesday evening.

“It’s a meeting with the [local] businesses, because I would like to increase the relationship between the Philippines and the UK by trying to attract more companies to invest in the Philippines,” he explained.

Mr. Nelson likewise said the new law is “something the BCCP can use to promote and help make the Philippines more attractive to UK companies, especially “the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) because that is what the BCCP tends to focus on.”

In an interview last Sunday, Mr. Nelson also said he recently “spent two weeks in the UK, from the 30th of April to mid-May, promoting the Philippines to British companies.”

“I met over 90 companies across nine different cities and towns organized by the chambers of commerce and the Department of the International Trade, so this is to promote trade and investment between the two countries. And now we are following up with those contacts to hopefully get them to start doing business in the Philippines,” Mr. Nelson narrated.

The BCCP, Mr. Nelson also said, is “currently in discussions with eight” UK companies. He noted too that businessmen often ask him back home about “regulations and ease of doing business” in the Philippines.

The BCCP, according to its Web site, represents over “200 member-companies and individuals with a membership network of over 400 entrepreneurs and senior executives of multinational corporations and SMEs.”

The Chamber also said it assists “UK companies particularly SMEs through the Business Support Service (BCC) with services such as but not limited to market introduction, meeting arrangement, contact services, event management and trade mission.”

Also according to its Web site, the BCCP is set to hold its fourth joint economic briefing on foreign direct investments in the Philippines, with Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua and Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez expected to take part. The event will be held at the Makati Diamond Residences on June 19.

“With the current aggressive stance of the government, roads are opening for foreign investors, but sustainability is critical. Representatives from various industries will also be sharing their experiences and insights on current government policies and initiatives that either support or go against their goals for achieving profitability,” the chamber said.

Also sought for comment, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) President George T. Barcelon said in a phone interview on Monday, “The Ease of Doing Business Law will help move the country and attract SMEs. It is for them to grow. Most of our employers in the Philippines, actually, are from the SMEs, not from big companies. So, we should help these guys.”