On Friday 28 March 2014, Surface Technology International Philippines (STI-P) was delighted to receive a visit from the recently appointed British Ambassador to the Philippines, Mr Asif Ahmad. As part of a planned trip to the city of Cebu, Mr Ahmad made a point of scheduling a visit to STI’s manufacturing facility in the heart of the Mactan PEZA zone accompanied by Mr Iain Mansfield, Director of UK Trade & Investment (Manila).
This visit marks the on-going support for UK businesses in the Philippines following “This is GREAT Britain” campaign – which kicked off in October 2013 and culminated with the Grand Finale event in Manila in March 2014 – that was jointly organised by the British Embassy in Manila and the British Chamber of Commerce Philippines (BCCP). STI was a “GREAT sponsor” for the whole campaign.
“We hosted a visit by the Ambassador’s predecessor, Stephen Lillie, in October 2012” said Simon Best, Managing Director “so we were delighted that Mr Ahmad is continuing the support for UK businesses operating in the Philippines. It was also good to see Iain Mansfield from UKTI – who along with his team, has been a great business source of information and support to STI-P. Over the past 2 years, through our associations with UKTI in Manila and the BCCP, we have been able to showcase our Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCBA) capabilities to new markets and customers throughout the region, helping us grow our business significantly.”
STI Philippines is a UK-owned business, with a manufacturing facility in Hook, Hampshire (45 miles southwest of London) employing over 450 staff on a site of c. 75,000 sqft. It is well known as a specialist in the manufacturing of high reliability, medium to low volume printed circuit board assemblies and full box-build products, with a long history of supplying the Aerospace & Defence industries and other specialist manufacturers. The Cebu factory, with over 200 staff on a production site of 16,000 sqft, mirrors the UK in all procedures, equipment and processes.
Mr Ahmad summarised his visit by saying “It’s great to see that STI is committed to growing the local workforce and talent base with an on-going training schedule for personnel both in the Philippines and on secondment to the UK. It is really important to see a company investing in the local employment market and developing good local knowledge to succeed with their business in the Philippines.”
Video conferencing and the use of webcams is a daily occurrence at STI-P and it ensures the Filipino team can draw as much support and knowledge as needed from the UK engineers, crossing the time zones and shrinking the 7,000 mile physical distance. Overall, STI remains firmly committed to developing its Philippines business across new opportunities in the specialist electronics markets of PCB Assembly and contract electronics.