Backing UK business

I am delighted today to begin leading a trade delegation to the Philippines this week as part of my role as UK Trade Envoy.
The UK and the Philippines are natural partners. Two island nations, united by a common language and by the personal ties created by the many citizens from both countries that live, work in or travel to the other. As the Foreign Secretary said when he visited the Philippines in January, we will always have a particularly close bond with nations that share our values of individual liberty, free markets and the rule of law.
My appointment as the first Trade Envoy for the Philippines is a sign of the regard in which the UK holds the Philippines. We do not have a Trade Envoy for every country. Instead they are appointed for countries where, despite not being traditional trading partners, the Prime Minister believes there is a significant opportunity to strengthen the bilateral commercial relationship. With both the UK and the Philippines now growing strongly, that opportunity has never been better.
Take energy, for instance. In both the UK and the Philippines, the price of electricity has hit the headlines over the last twelve months. Energy security is not only an economic issue, but an environmental one: the transition to a global low carbon economy is essential if we are to mitigate the impact of climate change. As events such as Typhoon Yolanda and the arrival of the unpredictable monsoon season demonstrate, the Philippines, like many other countries, is at risk from extreme climatic effects.
The trade delegation I have brought with me, consisting of five energy companies, represents an opportunity for the UK and Philippines business communities to work together to address these challenges. The delegates on this trade mission represent some of the best of UK capability in the oil and gas, renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors.
As I have long argued, emerging markets represent an enormous opportunity for UK businesses to sell their products abroad. I am proud to be part of the effort to sell our goods to global markets and show that this Government is backing British business.