President Benigno S Aquino III of the Philippines successfully concluded a three-day visit to the UK on 6 June.
In the country as a guest of the UK government, President Aquino was making his first visit to the UK and Europe since his assumption of office in 2010.
While in London, he met with Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street to discuss issues of mutual concern including Philippines-UK political and economic cooperation; the Mindanao peace process; the developments in the West Philippine Sea and the Philippine effort for a peaceful resolution; good governance and anti-corruption measures for both countries; and other regional and international issues. The President also informed the Prime Minister of the recent positive economic reform policies of the government.
President Aquino held further business meetings with several British and European investors – including Shell, Rolls Royce and Cebu Pacific, and Gaz Asia Ltd and Aboitiz Ventures Gas – who have signed business agreements worth over US$2 billion dollars. These investors also expressed support for the Aquino Administration’s Public-Private Partnership programme.
President Aquino also met with HRH the Duke of York, as the Queen’s official representative. At their meeting, President Aquino conveyed the best wishes of the Filipino people to The Queen on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee, as well as conveying his wish for the UK’s successful hosting of the Summer Olympics this month.
Finally, the President was warmly received by his kababayans (countrymen) at a gathering organised by the Philippine Embassy, where he shared the good news about the Philippines and promoted the Department of Tourism’s new slogan, ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines.’ The UK’s 250,000-strong Filipino community is the largest Filipino diaspora community in Europe.
President Aquino was accompanied to the UK by a lean delegation composed of Foreign Secretary Albert F Del Rosario.