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Foreign Secretary visits Philippines to strengthen Enhanced Partnership

  • Foreign Secretary James Cleverly will visit the Philippines to discuss the new UK-Philippines Enhanced Partnership.
  • Cleverly will meet Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr and Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo and visit the Philippines Coast Guard.
  • Visit continues engagement with Indo-Pacific partners following commitment in Integrated Review Refresh to build enduring partnerships.

The UK is set to deepen its relationship with the Philippines, as the Foreign Secretary travels to Manila for trade and security talks in the region.

In Manila, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly will meet President Ferdinand Marcos Jr and Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo to discuss how to further strengthen the UK-Philippines Enhanced Partnership. The partnership was launched in December 2021 to increase UK-Philippines collaboration on key areas including climate and environment, trade, maritime security and foreign policy.

Since then, the UK has launched British Investment Partnerships (BIP) to support resilient growth and held an inaugural maritime dialogue on marine conservation and maritime security.

The Foreign Secretary will also visit the Philippines Coast Guard to discuss cooperation on maritime security, counter terrorism and environmental protection.

He will also reiterate the necessity of upholding the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in the interests of global stability and the protection of maritime trade routes.

Around 60% of global shipping passes through the Indo-Pacific region, directly benefiting households and businesses in the UK and worldwide.

As set out in the Integrated Review Refresh, the Indo-Pacific is of critical importance to the UK’s future security and to the Prime Minister’s priority of growing the UK’s economy. With over half of global growth set to come from the Indo-Pacific by 2050, the region is home to thriving economies, cutting-edge science and tech as well as being on the frontline of global challenges like climate change. The UK is working with the Philippines and other likeminded partners to safeguard security and prosperity across the region.

Ahead of the visit Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said:

“I’m delighted to visit the Philippines for the first time, a place which shares common values and interests with the UK.

“We are expanding our areas of collaboration by growing our trade and investment through British Investment Partnerships and deepening cooperation on security, maritime and climate.”

The UK-Philippines partnership is working for both countries, rooted in our shared commitment to safeguarding freedom and democracy, and ensuring our future prosperity. The visit will be the Foreign Secretary’s third time travelling to southeast Asia in his role, following travel to Singapore in 2022 and Indonesia in July 2023 for the ASEAN Foreign Minister’s meeting.

It also follows his Indo-Pacific tour to Japan and the Pacific Islands earlier in the year, where the Foreign Secretary reiterated the importance of securing a free and open Indo-Pacific.

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