5 British telcos in talks with PHL firms for potential investment

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, Oct. 15 (PNA) –Four to five British telecommunication companies (telcos) are in talks with Philippine telcos for potential investments by yearend, a UK telco official said on Thursday.

UK Trade & Investment Director Iain Mansfield told reporters that although no agreements have been forged yet, there had been telcos which had already expressed interest.

“We’ve certainly had interesting discussions,” Mansfield said during the sidelines of the UK Telecoms & Broadcast Mission held at the New World Hotel in Makati City.

The UK Telecoms & Broadcast Mission will be a venue for 11 British telco leaders to explore potential projects and partnerships with local telcos and companies with similar requirements.

British telcos present include the British Telecoms (BT) Global Services, Cambridge Broadband Network Ltd, Infobip, Case Communications, Electronic Media Services (EMS) Ltd, TSL Professional Products Ltd, Television Systems Ltd, Argosy Broadcast Asia, Television Versioning & Translation (TVT) Ltd, The Bridge 8 Ltd, and Brandwatch.

“No deals have yet been signed but we’ve had (four to five) companies in detailed follow-up discussion which we hope to announce in the coming months,” he added.

Mansfield did not identify which projects and partnerships British telcos were looking at but hinted that some of them were on aviation, energy and water treatment.

“We’ve had a couple of companies interested in opening offices here; we’ve had others who are looking to sell equipment to major telco players or some BPOs (business process outsourcing),” Mansfield said.

“We (also) have content providers, selling content to the likes of ABS-CBN and GMA Network,” he further said.

Mansfield said that it was a good time to invest in the Philippines because of the overall growth in the economy. The economy reached a 5.6 percent rise in its gross domestic product (GDP) performance in the second quarter of this year.

“It’s a really good time because of the overall growth of the economy. It underpins everything we do. In particular, the BPO sector has showed remarkable growth,” Mansfield remarked.

British Deputy Ambassador Nigel Boud, for his part, highlighted how the information and communications technology (ICT) industry in the country is critical for a business to succeed.

“UK has a reputation of being global leader in this sector. We have a huge range of businesses working on lucrative products and services,”Boud said.

“ICT is one of the largest wealth creators in the UK and one of the fastest growing sectors. I encourage every company in the Philippines here to engage with the British delegation, capitalize on their offerings and form if possible, partnerships,” he added. (PNA)