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UK-PHL trade relations continue to improve post-Brexit —British envoy

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 3/19/2017 Gutierrez, Angelo
British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad (left) attends the launch the launch of The Great British Festival in Taguig on Friday, February 24, 2017. © Aya Tantiangco British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad (left) attends the launch the launch of The Great British Festival in Taguig on Friday, February 24, 2017.

The United Kingdom (UK) continues to see "increasing waves" of investments from the Philippines even after the decision to leave the European Union, the British envoy said.

"Our sales into the Philippines goes by record 28 percent in 2015. For the first time we've seen increasing waves of investment from the Philippines and the UK and in the first week of April we'll have here the 13th British Investment," British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif A. Ahmad said in an interview.

In June 2016, majority of the voting population of Britain chose to leave the European union, effectively forcing a British exit or Brexit, the "biggest blow" to the European project of greater unity which dates back to World War II.

Ahmad said the UK continues to see improvement in terms of trade between the UK and the Philippines.

"Only positive, because we are already the number one investor from Europe," he said.

To recall, Ahmad last year said trade between the Philippines and the UK is expected to improve, even with the Brexit.

In December, a member of the British Parliament said that trade between the two countries remains positive.

"(R)ight now, it looks quite positive. And the message that has been coming from investors here, Filipino investors to the UK, is that they see an opportunity in Brexit rather than a risk," Alok Sharma, Minister for Asia-Pacific of the UK Foreign Affairs, was quoted as saying.

The European Union (EU) earlier this month flagged concerns that the Philippines could possibly lose billions of dollars in trade deals should judicial concerns in the country persist.

“We are concerned about some of the issues here in the Philippines: the reinstatement of the death penalty, also the extrajudicial killings and the proposal to lower the judicial responsibility age to nine years – and this is also some of the concerns that we have conveyed to our partners here in the Philippines,” European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malstrom said.

Should these issues continue, these could affect the review of the current trade agreement of the Philippines with the EU dubbed as the Generalized System of Preference Plus (GSP+). —report from JP Soriano/Jon Viktor D. Cabuenas/ALG, GMA News

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