Thursday, March 8, 2012

UK envoys eyes more trade with Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY—British Ambassador to the Philippines Stephen Lillie cited on Wednesday, February 29, Bulacan’s role in boosting the image of the Philippines as one of the fast growing economies in Southeast Asia.

“Your great province has so many things to offer. It is a well situated place for investments and there are lots of job opportunities,” Ambassador Lillie said during his visit to the province.

Accompanied by Her Majesty’s Consul Brendan Gill and British youths from the Global Exchange Program, the ambassador was welcomed by the top officials of the province headed by Bulacan Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando, Northern Luzon Command Chief Lt. Gen. Anthony Alcantara and municipal mayors at the Hiyas ng Bulacan Pavillion here.

Ambassador Lillie said he was invited by Gov. Alvarado to visit Bulacan and he was very thankful for the opportunity to visit the historic province.

He added that the invitation is one way of strengthening the ties between the United Kingdom and the province of Bulacan.

“In my two and a half years as the British Ambassador, I am deeply touched by the warm welcome of the Filipino people. Today, we share freedom and we look forward to increase trade and to a better relationship,” Lillie said in his brief message at the lunch reception hosted by the Provincial Government of Bulacan (PGB).

When asked what he can say about Bulacan, the British envoy said that it’s more fun to be in Bulacan, particularly in the historic city of Malolos which is known as the cradle of democracy in Asia.

“Despite thousands of miles between Great Britain and the Philippines, we still have many things in common—the language we speak and our Christian faith,” the ambassador added.

Meanwhile, Alvarado said during his welcome speech that the reunion of Bulacan and Britain is much different now compared to its first meeting 250 years ago.

“The world is different now; we have found it better and to our interest to explore all the possibilities that will make us former allies and enemies share a better, safer world. We are grasping each other’s hand, not in the spirit of animosity, but in the spirit of brotherhood, friendship and cooperation,” said the governor.

Alvarado added that he hopes that the said meeting will serve as a recommitment between Great Britain and Bulacan to help one another in search of common solutions to the common problems and to share the same dreams.

Further, the top local chief executive said that there will be talks between the British embassy and the PGB about the youth exchange program so that young Bulakenyos will be able to go to the United Kingdom and learn their culture as well as their technologies.

“Actually the organization is the one who assigned us here and I’m much pleasured that they assigned me here in the Philippines. We are a group of dedicated youth volunteers who find solutions based on problems that we see in Bulacan particularly in Hagonoy like health issues (healthy lifestyle), and family planning,” Tilly Alcayna-Stevens, a member of the Global Exchange, British youth volunteer said.

The British ambassador later visited the historic Barasoain Church where he prayed, and the nearby Casa Real ruins in this historic capital city.