Jan 242015

MANILA, Philippines – Five trade missions are expected to arrive in the country from the United Kingdom (UK) starting next month until the end of the year to explore business opportunities, the UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) said.

UKTI director for Manila Iain Mansfield told reporters that following the trade mission focused on healthcare which visited the country just this week “we can expect five more missions (from the UK) this year.”

The trade mission focused on healthcare was composed of eight firms.

Mansfield said two trade missions are expected next month, with one focused on the financial services and the other on education.

Mansfield said Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman Alan Yarrow who is the representative of the UK’s financial and investment services, would be in the country from Feb. 12 to 13, and lead a trade mission composed of at least five firms engaged in financial services.

The visit is intended to support and promote the UK-based financial and related professional services industry.

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During the visit, the Lord Mayor would meet with government officials such as Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. Amando Tetangco, Jr.

The visit is seen as a good time to explore opportunities here amid the Philippines’ move to liberalize the entry of foreign banks in the country through Republic Act (RA) 10641.

RA 10641 signed by President Aquino in July amended RA 7721 which only allowed the entry of 10 foreign banks in the country.

RA 10641 also allows foreign banks to buy as much as 100 percent of a local bank, amending a previous provision that only permits them to own up to 60 percent of a Philippine lender’s voting stock.

“No UK banks have committed (to set up), but they are interested in opportunities in the Philippines,” Mansfield said.

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