MANILA – Foreign investors consider press freedom as a “very important” factor in countries where they operate, a British trade official said Thursday.
Aside from bilateral trade deals, investors in the UK “are very sensitive” with the context and the nature of the environment in countries where they do business, British trade envoy Richard Graham said in an exclusive interview with ANC’s The Boss.
When asked if press freedom in the Philippines is under attack, Graham said "I think it has been under some pressure."
But the government is successful in reassuring foreign investors that the the country upholds the rule of law, he said.
“If the message is loud and clear from within the Philippines and within the UK, freedom of the media is something that we treasure and willing to treasure, then I think it’s a really strong powerful message,” Graham said.
“I think foreign investors need to be reassured that the Philippines upholds the rule of law and every time I come here, I always have that discussion and I always have the reassurance I’ve been looking for,” he added.
"It does matter" for companies that the Philippines is very sensitive on its reputation on these areas and its effect on foreign investments, he said.
Shell, Arup, Dyson, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Pru Life, G4S, GSK, AstraZeneca, Diageo, Unilever, Alpha Aviation are some of the top UK investors in the Philippines, Graham said.
Last February, the UK has launched a global campaign to support media freedom and journalists around the world.