(PRWEB) November 18, 2010
The Philippines has successfully taken the first step towards fast-tracking infrastructure investment and development through a public-private partnership (PPP) framework anchored on integrity, honesty, transparency, and predictability. Delegates to the “Infrastructure Philippines 2010” business forum generally expressed optimism in the framework and confidence in the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III.
The Philippine government is using the two-day forum to position the Philippines as a premiere location for infrastructure investment. Organizers originally expected around 300 delegates to attend the event. During Mr. Aquino’s presentation, they estimated a crowd of more than 500. The large crowd—composed of senior executives of global financial firms, construction companies, and business executives—suggests that efforts by government to present a revitalized image of the country to investors are being felt.
For Mr. Aquino, the gathering was “a celebration of just how quickly things are turning around. The darkness is dissipating and what has brought all of us together today is a palpable sense of optimism in the country’s future and the affirmation that the Philippines is open for business,” he said.
Mr. Aquino and senior government officials presented the PPP framework—which provides regulatory protection for investors—and 100 projects that will be bid out to investors beginning next year. The regulatory protection provides a commitment to investors that contractual obligations will be met.
Increase in investor confidence
Government and private-sector speakers alike noted that Investor confidence in the Philippines has improved significantly since national elections in May. Prospective investors applauded government efforts to improve the regulatory environment, institutionalize transparency and integrity in public governance, and set clear directions for accelerating PPP projects.
According to World Bank country director Bert Hofman, “the Philippine potential for PPP is high and the prospects are good. We are ready to provide support for the country's priority projects in such manner as the government requires.” Asian Development Bank country director Neeraj Jain also expressed optimism for PPP in the Philippines. “This great potential also comes with challenges. But the good thing is, the government’s economic team knows what the challenges are, including how to promote the country when everyone else in the region is trying to take a share in the same pool of private funds. And they are not underestimating these challenges either,” Jain said.
Priority projects identified by the Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Jose de Jesus include airport, highway and rail developments as well as tourism infrastructure across the archipelago.