PH, UK explore various possible areas of cooperation

MANILA – Finance Secretary Ralph Recto recently met with United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to the Philippines Richard Graham and British  Ambassador to the Philippines Laure Beaufils and discussed how to deploy the UK Export Finance’s GBP4 billion (PHP287 billion) worth of development financing for the Philippines and its priority projects.

In a Facebook post late Tuesday, the Finance department said the potential areas for collaboration include education, infrastructure, water, renewable energy and defense.

British officials also expressed interest to work with the Philippines through its British Investment Partnerships initiative in issuing green or blue bonds and mobilizing more private and public finance towards its sustainable development.

The UK likewise expressed strong interest to pursue a government-to-government agreement with the Philippines on development cooperation. During the meeting, Recto urged the UK to support the country’s digitalization efforts and invest in its big-ticket infrastructure projects.

Recto also proposed a possible free trade agreement between the Philippines and UK, including through the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The Finance department said also present during the meeting were UK Department for Business and Trade Philippine Country Director James Thackery and Deputy Country Director Rachel Gancia, as well as UK Embassy’s Economic and Climate Counsellor Lloyd Cameron. (PNA)