MANILA – Philippine investments in the United Kingdom have seen “astonishing success” and will continue to do so even if the UK leaves the European Union, a trade official said Thursday.
Filipino fastfood giant Jollibee, which opened in London in October last year, plans to open another 20 to 25 stores across the country, trade envoy Richard Graham said in an exclusive interview with ANC’s The Boss.
There is also "huge demand" for Emperador’s Whyte and Mackay whiskey in the UK. Other Filipino food investors are “lined up” to open shop, he said.
"Everyone who's invested so far in the UK actually all made successes, which they credit to the businesses and also the business environment,” Graham said.
“Jollibee, where people have to queue for several hours on the day it opened in London, is now looking to expand,” he added.
The UK remains as a “very attractive” market for Philippine export products such as coconuts and processed tuna due to the GSP+ trade agreement granted by the EU.
Graham said the GSP+ arrangement between the 2 countries under the EU regulation would continue even after the UK leaves the EU. Under the deal, over 6,000 products exported to the EU enjoy zero preferential duties.
“When we leave the EU we will continue the GSP+ program in exactly the same way,” Graham said.
The trade envoy said the Brexit deal would give the UK "a bit more freedom in the future" in terms of engaging in their own free trade agreements.