April 24, 2024

 The United Kingdom is increasing its investment in Southeast Asia, with the Philippines as one of the priority countries.

The British International Investment will invest £500 million in the region for the next five years and “the Philippines would be one of the three focus countries,” UK Ambassador to the Philippines Laure Beaufils said.

“There’s a strong focus on economic development, trade and investment. We’re really going to increase significantly our investments in the Philippines through new mechanisms that we have put in place,” she said.

“There’ll be a lot more by way of investments and in particular, green investments in infrastructure because climate change is a key priority.”

Beaufils said aside from economic development, maritime cooperation, climate change adaptation, and technology would serve as pillars of the Philippine-UK relationship under the Marcos administration.

The UK will continue to work with the Philippines on maintaining peace and stability in the region, including on maritime law and maritime domain awareness, she said.

“For us, international maritime law is absolutely critical. United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is absolutely fundamental in terms of having international rules of the game that govern how we work together as states. And we will continue to be firm supporters of that,” she said.

“We’re very supportive of the President’s statement when he said that he would not relinquish one inch of Filipino territory.”

Beaufils said UK’s Carrier Strike Group is set to visit the region by the end of 2023 or early 2024.

To recall, a Strike Group undertook a series of multinational exercises with global allies in the Philippine Sea last August 2021.

“So that presence is going to come back and we’re here to stay,” she said.– PNA