2-4 British fashion retail brands coming to PH

By Louella Desiderio, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 13 2014 08:00 AM | Updated as of Feb 13 2014 04:00 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Two to four British fashion retail brands are expected to come to the country this year.

“We might be seeing two to four fashion brands this year,” United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI) director Iain Mansfield said in a briefing yesterday.

He added that most of the brands are looking to enter the country by forging partnerships with local companies.

He said the Philippines has become an attractive location for British retail brands as the country’s growing economy is leading to more money for spending and as there are many strong retail companies here.

“The Filipinos like to dress well and look good,” he added.

Aside from retail brands, Mansfield said there is also interest from other British companies engaged in other industries such as energy, education as well as architecture and engineering to do business in the Philippines.

As part of promoting greater trade and investment ties between the UK and the Philippines, the UK has appointed George Freeman as trade envoy for the Philippines to work with British companies interested to do business here.

Mansfield said the UKTI is also organizing eight business missions and 10 webinars here aimed at promoting the country as a place to do business.

Last week, the UKTI already brought in 11 companies engaged in the agriculture sector to check out opportunities here.

On Friday, six British companies engaged in education and training are arriving in the country to see opportunities, particularly in the business process outsourcing sector.

Next month, the UKTI is also organizing a business mission composed of architecture firms to look at how it they participate in reconstruction efforts following Super Typhoon Yolanda which hit parts of the country in November.

The remaining five business missions planned for the year, Mansfield said, would cover airport and rail supply chain, energy, health technology as well as other sectors.

To provide assistance to British firms interested to come to the country, he said, a new British Center would be set-up by April in the Fort in Taguig City.

“The trends continue to go in the right direction. The investment climate here seems to be improving,” he said.

But while British firms are being encouraged to invest in the Philippines, he said the UKTI would also want to attract Filipino firms to do business in the UK.

As of 2013, the UK is the highest European and fourth highest overall source of foreign direct investments in the Philippines.