The Philippines Opens its Doors to Infrastructure Investors

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"The Philippines is open for business," and is introducing new rules and incentives for infrastructure investors in a business forum, "Infrastructure Philippines 2010." Over 400 executives of leading financial institutions and construction industry executives will attend the event, which includes a keynote address by Philippine President Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino III and presentations by Cabinet secretaries responsible for economic and trade development.

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The Philippines is open for business.

The Philippines is launching a new set of rules on public-private partnership (PPP) as it starts marketing a pipeline of over 100 PPP projects this Thursday and Friday in a business forum, “Infrastructure Philippines 2010.” The forum is the first in a series of planned meetings meant to accelerate implementation of the PPP framework to improve infrastructure across the nation.

“The Philippines is open for business. And, we want to see more activity in Infrastructure development,” said Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Cesar Purisima. “The key to achieving sustainable development and creating maximum economic impact on individual Filipinos is to open up opportunities for private capital markets to participate in infrastructure investment. International financial institutions and private capital building together will enable the government to focus its own scarce resources on critical social services and long-term development.”

The Philippine Economic Team put together the new set of rules following a series of meetings in New York, London, Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur with investors and firms that are active in PPP projects. Supporting the Philippines in putting together the new PPP program are the Asian Development Bank, The World Bank, International Finance Corp., Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Japan International Cooperation Agency, and others.

President Benigno S. Aquino III opens the two-day event tomorrow. The Conference will serve as a platform for the government to introduce a revitalized framework for PPP. According to Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Gregory L. Domingo, a key selling point for the framework is the fact that it is anchored on integrity, honesty, transparency, and predictability.

“The good news is that the country has started the process of positive change, and the world is taking notice. The government intends to further strengthen the Philippines’ image by implementing initiatives that will dramatically streamline the process of infrastructure project development, review and approval, financing, risk allocation in project structuring, project execution and monitoring,” said Domingo.

Government will present a pipeline of infrastructure projects that can be delivered via the PPP framework. “This is in line with the government’s thrust to shift its focus to solicited bids from unsolicited bids that accounted for the majority of infrastructure projects for over two decades,” Purisima said.

“In many developing countries, PPP has been utilized as a tool for delivering urgent projects in critical development areas such as power, water and sanitation; transportation such as roads, bridges, tollways, ports and airports; as well as in social services like education and health,” according to NEDA Director General Cayetano Paderanga. “A credible government and an investment-friendly climate make the Philippines a prime spot for private capital markets looking to invest.”

Infrastructure Philippines 2010 is a partnership project of the DTI, the DOF and National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

Attending the launching are 400 participants from local and foreign investors, financial and construction industry executives, Philippine government officials, and the country’s development partners.

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