British beef is coming back to the Philippines after 20-year absence

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After a 20 year absence, British beef is coming back to the Philippines following the lifting of import restrictions by the Philippine government.

British Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce says beef producers and distributors are starting to talk.

“Soon, I hope you’ll see British beef – the best beef in the world – on the supermarket shelves in the Philippines and on the menu when you come to fine establishments such as this one,” Ambassador Pruce told businessmen in Makati City.

Pruce also revealed that Jollibee, one of the Philippines’ largest fast-food chain will be opening its first restaurant in London next year.

“I’m thrilled that Jollibee will be opening their first restaurant in the UK next year. I am sure it will be a great success. And I think it is a tribute to the welcoming and supportive commercial environment the UK offers to overseas investors and to our thriving and expanding, catering sector,” says Pruce.

The UK and the Philippines have recently signed a memorandum of understanding to support the Philippines in the area of cyber security. “We have companies, like BT and BAe, with very strong experience and capabilities in designing cyber security systems.”

Pruce noted the strong bilateral ties between the UK and the Philippines. “At the heart of this lie the links between our peoples. We are fortunate to have 200,000 Filipinos living and working in the UK, making an enormous contribution to the country. 14,000 healthcare workers are in our own National Health Service, bringing their high level of professional qualification and strong caring skills to our country.

Nearly 200,000 Brits came to the Philippines on holiday last year. Over 17,000 have now settled in the Philippines.

Britain is the biggest EU investor in the Philippines with over £1billion in investments and the third largest in the world, behind only the US and Japan.  British exports in goods increased by 38% in 2015, while  UK total exports of goods and services to the Philippines in 2015 were £628M. Two-way trade stands at £ 1.4 billion.

Over 200 British companies are active the Philippines which include Unilever, Shell, HSBC, Standard Chartered, AstraZeneca, Diageo, Arup, Mott MacDonald, Atkins, Nasmyth, Dyson, JCB, Marks and Spencer, River Island and Halcrow and NATS.

 

 

ICTSI posts 10% rise in port operations revenue to US$835 million

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Manila-based International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) has posted a 10 percent increase in revenue from port operations to over US$835 million in the first nine months of 2017.

Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) rose by 11 percent to US$390.3 million while net income attributable to equity holders of US$149.3 million, up five percent from the US$141.9 million earned in the same period last year due to the continuing ramp-up at the new terminal in Matadi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); strong operating income contribution from the terminals in Iraq, Mexico, Honduras, Brazil and Madagascar; and the one-time gain on the termination of the sub-concession agreement in Lagos, Nigeria.

ICTSI says the increase in net income was tapered by higher interest and financing charges, higher depreciation and amortization, start-up costs of the company’s terminal in Melbourne Australia and increase in the net loss at Sociedad Puerto Industrial Aguadulce S.A. (SPIA), its joint venture container terminal project with PSA International Pte Ltd. (PSA) in Buenaventura, Colombia, which increased from US$4.7 million in the first three quarters of 2016 to US$25.6 million for the same period in 2017 as the company started full commercial operations at the beginning of the year.

Excluding the one-time gain on the termination of the sub-concession agreement in Nigeria, consolidated net income attributable to equity holders would have been flat in the first nine months of 2017.

For the quarter ended September 30, 2017, revenue from port operations increased 11 percent from US$284.2 million to US$314.6 million.

ICTSI handled consolidated volume of 6.8 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in the first nine months of 2017, six percent more than the 6.4 million TEUs handled in the same period in 2016.

The increase in volume was primarily due to continuing improvement in global trade activities particularly in the emerging markets, continuing ramp-up at ICTSI’s operations in Basra, Iraq, new services at Manzanillo, Mexico and contribution of new terminals in Matadi, DRC and Melbourne, Australia.

Philippine economy posts impressive 6.9% growth in 3rd quarter

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The Philippine economy posted an impressive 6.9 percent growth in the third quarter of 2017, one of the best performing economies in Asia, next to Vietnam’s 7.5 percent and ahead of China’s 6.8 percent and Indonesia’s 5.1 percent.

Socio-economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia says the Philippine economic growth surpassed market expectations, given the 6.6 percent consensus median estimate.

“With a year-to-date growth average at 6.7 percent, we are optimistic that we are on track in meeting the full-year target range of 6.5 to 7.5 percent growth domestic product (GDP) growth for 2017,” says Secretary Pernia.

Secretary Pernia attributed the Philippine growth performance to sustained strong growth in exports and improvements in public spending, which boosted the manufacturing subsector and the services sector.

“On the expenditure side, sustained recovery in public spending pushed growth during the quarter. Public consumption was up 8.3 percent on account of higher spending on personnel services with the rise in the base pay of civilian government employees and allowances of the military and uniformed personnel, as well as the filling-up and creation of positions at the Department of Education.”

Secretarty Pernia noted a sustained improvement in government spending in a run-up to the massive infrastructure program which will continually unfold in the months ahead.

“We see construction activities and public spending making a headway in line with the government’s aim to spend 5.3 percent of GDP this year for infrastructure and up to 7.4 percent by 2022.”

“Private consumer spending eased to 4.5 percent in the third quarter. But we expect a pick-up in household consumption in the last quarter of the year due to the holiday season.”

The Philippine government is working towards reforming the tax system under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act to be implemented as soon as it is enacted into law.

Secretary Pernia explained that the reformed tax system is simpler, fairer and more efficient that would increase the take-home pay of millions of Filipinos and adjust the excise taxes on certain products to generate income for the government.

“This tax reform package will fund about half of the government’s infrastructure program while providing relief to lower- and middle-income earners,” says Secretary Pernia.

 

8 Philippine airports gain OAG on-time performance star ratings

Eight Philippine airports have gained on-time performance (OTP) star ratings from the Official Aviation Guide (OAG) 2016-2017.

The Iloilo International Airport in central Philippines was ranked 14th place with a star rating, besting Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Seoul Incheon International Airport and Hongkong International Airport.

Other Philippine airports that earned star ratings on OTP are NAIA, Bacolod, Davao, Tacloban, Laguindingan (CDO), Kalibo and Puerto Princesa.

The OTP star rating is designed to benchmark against set criteria, defined by industry and flight status information experts. OTP is measured across the whole year based on 12 months’ rolling performance.

To achieve an OTP star rating, the world’s airlines and airports must meet two criteria: all airlines and airports must have a minimum of 600 operations a month and OAG must receive flight status information for no less than 80 percent of scheduled flights within a 12-month period.

The OAG, an air travel intelligence company based in United Kingdom, provides digital information and applications to the world’s airlines, airports, government agencies and travel-related service companies.

OAG is best known for its airline schedules database which holds future and historical flight details for more than 900 airlines and over 4,000 airports.