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14 March 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Philippines is taking advantage of the growing interest of American and other foreign investors in the country by urging them to participate in the bidding for a number of major infrastructure projects that are in the pipeline.

“Tremendous opportunities exists in the Philippines for infrastructure development,” said Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr.  as he noted the successful participation of the Philippines in the recent 8th Global Infrastructure Leadership Forum in New York City.

“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 various countries, the Philippine delegation led by Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson presented various investment opportunities in infrastructure projects in the country.

“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, adding that theinfrastructure budget of the Philippines has grown by 240 percent in 2015 from its 2010 level.

“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 subsidiary 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, Manila Water; Aaron Domingo, Director, Meralco PowerGen Corporation; officials of the Philippine Constructors Association led by its President Delfin Wenceslao, Bayani Fernando and Marie Lourdes Fernando, BF Corporation; Levy Espiritu, Datem, Inc.; Oscar Mercado, EEI; and Manuel Louie Ferrer, Megawide.

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

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

It 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. ###