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New British envoy sees positive economic relations between UK, PH.

Newly installed British Ambassador Daniel Pruce remains upbeat about the economic relationship of United Kingdom with the Philippines despite President Rodrigo Duterte's scathing remarks against European envoys in the country.

'My impression in my first couple of months here is that the optimism, the ambition, and the aspiration of the business community in both countries remain extremely high,' Pruce said.

Pruce addressed for the first time the Philippine business community in a forum in Makati City on Tuesday.

The British ambassador took office in August after former ambassador Asif Ahmad ended his tour of duty in the Philippines.

Pruce said he had already met Duterte, the Cabinet members and other senior government officials.

He said his meetings with the Philippine officials had always been a 'positive' encounter.

'All of those discussions (with them) have been positive and have been optimistic,' Pruce said.

The President recently threatened to expel European ambassadors after some European socialists condemned the alleged violation of human rights in the government's deadly drug war.

Duterte also said he had refused around $18 to $20 million in financial assistance from UK.

But the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) later clarified that the United Kingdom has not offered the country any new financial assistance.

In a speech before the open forum, Pruce also lauded the Armed Forces of the Philippines for defeating the ISIS-inspired terrorists in Marawi.

He emphasized that the UK would stand with the Philippines in its fight against global terrorism. /jpv

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Nov 7, 2017
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