Britain impressed by Philippine Growth
by FFE PH News Staff
Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Secretary William Hague has so far been impressed with the growth being registered by the Philippine economy that he said the country is well on its way to be ‘one of Asia Pacific’s great success stories.’
In a speech on Thursday, the secretary said ‘Your high rates of economic growth are a testament to strong economic policy and the hard work of Filipinos at home and abroad, including thousands in my own country.
‘The Philippines clearly has the potential to be one of Asia Pacific’s great success stories and we want to support you in that, to the benefit of both our peoples.’
Trends in tourism and immigration between the two countries show the importance of establishing a better relationship between the Philippines and the UK. The Commission on Filipinos Overseas lists 218,777 Filipinos in the UK as of 2012 while the UK ranks among the Philippines’ top 10 major tourist source from January to September of 2013.
Hague cited the return of Philippine Airlines’ direct flights to London late last year, which will allow tourists, working Filipinos and students greater access to both countries, strengthening economic and diplomatic ties between the Philippines and the UK.
The secretary also met with his Philippine counterpart Albert del Rosario, who reported that Britain is now a major source of foreign direct investments, citing growth from Php1.72b in 2011 to Php6.76b in 2012. The UK is also now the fourth top destination for Philippine exports worldwide.
William Hague arrived in Manila on Thursday after a two-day visit to Indonesia to boost British economic ties in the Southeast Asia region. He has met with President Aquino, congratulated the Philippines on the Bangsamoro peace agreement and has also talked about the Filipino resilience amid the disasters of 2013.
Hague was generally positive of the climate in the Asia Pacific region, as he said the progress has been ‘astounding’ and hopes the region ‘will produce ideas… to surprise and benefit all of us for many decades to come.’