PH Seeks Foreign Investors At Global Forum

by Joseph G. Lariosa

CHICAGO (JGL) –Philippine delegation led by Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson presented various investment opportunities in infrastructure projects in the country before foreign investors at the 8th Global Infrastructure Leadership Forum in New York, New York recently.

“Good governance and anti-corruption reforms produced marked improvements in the infrastructure sector, which has strong convergence with agriculture, tourism, flood mitigation and an integrated transport system,” Secretary Singson said as he cited the 250 percent growth in the infrastructure budget of the Philippines in 2015 from its 2010 level.

At the same time, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. said there is “tremendous opportunities that exist in the Philippines for infrastructure development” after the  successful participation of the Philippines in the Forum.

“It was a great learning and networking opportunity for foreign engineering and construction companies, institutional funders with expertise in infrastructure investments and project consultants, as well as for our own delegation,” said Ambassador Cuisia

During the two-day forum that was participated in by 300 attendees from all over the world, the Philippine delegation led by Secretary Singson presented various investment opportunities in infrastructure projects in the country.

“The Philippines was received very favorably by the forum attendees who also noted that the extent of infrastructure building that the Philippines is embarking on is very impressive,” said Peter Thieman, of Dentons, LLP, one of the sponsors of the forum.

Antonio Ferrera, Director General of Acea Dominicana, a ssubsidiary of Italy-based environmental-industrial conglomerate, Acea SpA, expressed admiration for  Manila Water Company’s best practice case for the East Zone Concession.

Among the other Philippine projects presented were the Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike; the Batangas-Manila Natural Gas Pipeline; and the Mass Transit System Loop Project.

Aside from Secretary Singson, the other members of the government delegation were Transportation and Communications Undersecretary Rene Limcaoco and  Public Private Partnership Center Executive Director, Undersecretary Cosette Canilao.

The Philippine private sector delegation was composed of Virgilio Rivera, Group Director of Manila Water; Aaron Domingo, Director of Meralco PowerGen Corporation; and Delfin Wenceslao, President of the Philippine Constructors Association and officers Bayani Fernando and Marie Lourdes Fernando of BF Corporation; Levy Espiritu of Datem, Inc.; Oscar Mercado of EEI; and Manuel Louie Ferrer of Megawide.

The forum, which was started in 2002, was organized by CG/LA Infrastructure, a Washington-based firm involved in identifying key market opportunities and challenges in the global infrastructure arena.

The forum was highlighted by the signing by Ambassador Cuisia and US Commerce Secretary Arun Kumar of a Memorandum of Cooperation between the Philippines and the United States.

The agreement establishes a US-Philippines Infrastructure Collaboration Platform between the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Commerce that seeks to facilitate US industry participation in Philippine infrastructure projects.

“The agreement creates a platform for potential US investors to get notification and information about forthcoming infrastructure projects, which would be useful to enhancing awareness and attracting the attention of American investors in the Philippines,” Ambassador Cuisia said.



MEMORANDUM SIGNING:  Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr, (seated second from left) and US Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary Arun Kumar (seated third from left) sign the Philippine-United States Memorandum of Cooperation on the PH-US Infrastructure Collaboration Platform. Witnessing the signing ceremony are Secretary Rogelio Singson of the Philippine Department of Public Works and Highways (seated left) and DOC Undersecretary Stefan Selig. (Photoscreen from PH Embassy Washington DC website)

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