UK firms eye Mindanao

Delegation heading South next week to scout for investment opportunities

By: Roy Stephen C. Canivel@inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / 12:25 AM March 25, 2017

50 British and Filipino firms will go to Davao next week to hear out the government’s pitch to convince them to expand their commercial operations to Mindanao, the United Kingdom (UK) envoy said.

UK Ambassador Asif A. Ahmad said the delegation would embark on a two-day visit to Davao starting on March 30, noting the growing interest among businessmen to set up shop in southern Philippines.

He said some cabinet officials would join the event to present government programs conducive for business in a bid to show that there were “opportunities in other places beyond Davao City.”


“Firstly, they would be briefed about the people who know what’s going on in Mindanao and what the business issues are. There will be Mindanao businesses there as well so they will be either to look for partners or joint ventures and the like,” he told reporters Thursday night.

The delegation, mostly made up of British firms, will also have Filipino companies with UK interests in the mix, he added. Among the sectors that will be covered are agriculture, business process outsourcing, power and renewables.

Earlier this month, a 30-member UK delegation—one of the biggest British delegations to visit the country—arrived here to explore possible business opportunities.

These are composed of organizations involved in education, infrastructure, consultancy, energy and financial and professional services. More than half of the delegation that visited the country were education and training institutions.

On the other hand, the firms that will visit Davao next week are companies already based here in the Philippines. According to Ahmad, some of the firms that will join the delegation are HSBC Philippines, Unilever Philippines, BDO Unibank and BPI Capital Corp.

Ahmad, who will leave his post as British envoy in July, said that the expected divorce of the UK from the European Union might also mean more interest for agricultural imports from Davao.

“We also think of agriculture more broadly because when the UK leaves the EU, we can agree on our own based on what we want to import from the Philippines. We won’t be tied to the agricultural interests of Southern Europe. In that sense, I think Davao would be more interesting,” he said.

(Article from

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